Nearly 600 Indian nationals will come back from conflict-hit Iraq over the next two days of whom 200 will return by an Iraqi Airways special chartered flight from Najaf to Delhi tonight, External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.
“The return of Indians from Iraq has gathered pace,” the Spokesperson in External Affairs Minister said, adding apart from 200 Indian nationals, another 400 Indian nationals would be returning to various destinations in India, including Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, through commercial flights by Monday.
“It is estimated that about 1200 would have returned to India at government cost by Monday,” the Spokesperson said.
In addition, the Indian Mission in Baghdad has been able to persuade Iraqi companies to send back approximately 600 other Indian nationals.
“Our Mission in Baghdad is also separately processing papers of approximately 400 other persons who are in some major companies. Once these are processed, the total number of Indians who would have returned to India in the last fortnight would be about 2200,” he said.
“The number of others who have evinced interest in returning after this is very few,” he added.
Meanwhile, with 46 nurses out of the conflict zone, nearly 50 Indians are still expected to be in these zones, which include the 39 captives.
There were about 10,000 Indians before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants backed by al Qaida in Iraq. With MEA facilitating the departures, it is estimated that there are about 7500 Indians in the non-conflict zones left.