Confirming that there has been “bombing and firing” in the vicinity of the building where 46 Indian nurses are stuck in Tikrit, India on Tuesday said that the nurses took refuge in the basement of the building. The nurses were “safe and unharmed”, officials said.
“There has been bombing and firing in the vicinity of their (nurses) building. They have taken refuge in the basement. They are in an extremely delicate situation. We have informed the Iraqi agencies of their location and we remain hopeful that despite these difficulties, we will be able to extricate them,” the Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, adding that the nurses were “safe and unharmed” and in touch with the Indian mission.
With 230 Indians already booked to fly out of strife-torn Iraq, the MEA spokesperson said that an additional 1,000 people have approached them with the request that they want to move out of Iraq and an equal number had conveyed that they want to stay. About the 39 Indians who are still in captivity, he said India’s understanding was that they were unharmed so far.
Meanwhile, Nepal, which has no embassy in Iraq, has sought India’s help in facilitating the departure of its nationals, to which India has agreed, he said. “We have a responsibility towards our neighbours”, the spokesperson said.