Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

India steps up rescue operation in Iraq; External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to hold meeting on Sunday

Iraq is witnessing serious strife with Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida, capturing two key cities and marching towards Baghdad. (Source: AP) Iraq is witnessing serious strife with Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida, capturing two key cities and marching towards Baghdad. (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Posted: June 28, 2014 6:16 pm | Updated: June 28, 2014 9:03 pm

With the deepening Iraq violence, India has set up three camp offices to facilitate departure of 10,000 Indians from non-conflicting zones even as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has summoned top Indian envoys in Gulf countries for consultations on Sunday. Meanwhile, the 39 Indians who were kidnapped remained in “captivity” and “unharmed”, the Spokesperson in MEA said, adding there were some leads available about them on which work was on.

He said the mission was also in touch with 46 nurses in Tikrit and denied the reports that there was any explosion in the compound they were in. Asked about how many Indians were in the conflict zone, the Spokesperson said it would not be possible to give the exact number of Indian nationals but there would be “around  100″.

Giving the details of the camp offices, he said in a “pro-active” move, the officers in these camps will go to the place of work of Indians and facilitate their departure if they want so. Besides, providing travel documents, the ministry will also provide free air tickets, in case they cannot afford them.

He said Swaraj will chair a meeting of India’s top envoys posted in Gulf countries including Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia on Sunday  on the situation in Iraq. The meeting will also have a session with Ambassadors of the Gulf countries posted in India, the Spokesperson said.
He said the ministry was “knocking on every door” to get whatever help was possible for the safety of Indian nationals and asserted that all national assets were in readiness should there be a need.

The details of officers and their numbers in the camp offices are: in Najaf -Abu Mathen George (+964 771 6511190), Srinivas Rao(+964 771 6511181) Rakesh Singh (+964 771 6511179) and e-mail controlroomnajaf@gmail.com.

In Karbala: Anil Sapra (+964 771 6511180), Jeewan Singh (+964 771 6511176 and e-mail controlroomkarbala@gmail.com and in Basra: Narasimha Murthy Kuppa (+964 771 6511182), Asif Shah Ahmed (+964 771 6511178), email controlroombasrah@gmail.com.

Iraq is witnessing serious strife with Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida, capturing two key cities and marching towards Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced in the fighting that broke out on June 10.

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