The Indian government has strongly condemned the takeover of two cities in Iraq by ‘terrorist outfits’ and has expressed concern for the safety of its citizens trapped in the war-torn nation.
In a statement issued Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) termed the recent attacks in Iraq as a direct threat to the security and territorial integrity of the country.
“The Government of India strongly condemns such attacks and firmly stands by the Government and the people of Iraq in their fight against international terrorism and in their efforts to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the friendly country of Iraq,” the statement said.
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India has already asked its citizens to leave the nation by commercial means and is also making arrangements to help all stranded nationals.
It has also strongly condemned the deteriorating security situation which led to the taking over of two large cities — Mosul and Tikrit — by heavily armed insurgents.
Close to 50 Indians, mostly nurses, are believed to be stranded in the two cities and efforts are on by the Indian mission to evacuate them at the earliest, the statement said.
“The safety and security of the Indian nationals currently in Iraq remains a matter of serious concern. An advisory has been issued giving the details of a 24 hour helpline set up by the Indian Embassy in Baghdad for assistance of Indian nationals there,” the statement read.