Yemen crisis: India to end air evacuation ops today, accepts Pakistan’s special plane offer

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif offered a special aircraft to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, which New Delhi accepted.

By: Express News Service Written by Shaju Philip | New Delhi | Updated: April 8, 2015 12:13:48 pm
Indians evacuated from Yemen by a Pakistan Navy ship upon their arrival at Karachi port on Tuesday. (Source: AP photo) Indians evacuated from Yemen by a Pakistan Navy ship upon their arrival at Karachi port on Tuesday. (Source: AP photo)

After evacuating about 4,000 Indians and 235 nationals from 26 foreign countries, India on Tuesday decided to end the air evacuation operation on Wednesday. About 700 more Indians, including 600 from Sanaa, were rescued in three air sorties on Tuesday.

While 600 were rescued by Air India, over 100 were being evacuated from Al Hudaydah by INS Turkish, officials said. The Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “We will end our air evacuation efforts from Sanaa tomorrow and all those who want to leave should do so by tomorrow.”

Asked about any remaining Indians, sources said 4,100 Indians had registered with the Indian Mission in Yemen and most of them are out.

The government may continue the evacuation by sea route for some more time, they added.

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Meanwhile, 11 Indians who were evacuated by the Pakistan Navy’s Aslat from Yemen’s southeastern city of Mukallah reached Karachi on Tuesday. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif offered a special aircraft to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, which New Delhi accepted.

They are expected to return home by Wednesday.

India had also received requests from 26 countries including the US, Bangladesh and Iraq for assistance in evacuating their nationals from the strife-torn country. While Pakistan has not sought help for the evacuation of its nationals, India during the operation also rescued Pakistani nationals.

Kerala man missing in Yemen

Thiruvananthapuram: A Kerala man residing in Yemen has reportedly gone missing. Salman, 42, a native of Areekkode in Malappuram, has been living in Yemen with his wife and five children for eight years. Family sources in Malappuram said that Salma’s wife called and said that he was suspected to be in the custody of Houthi radicals. The Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department (NORKA), however, said they have no official information in that regard.

Areekode panchayat president P P Safarulla said Salman’s wife informed his family that he was taken away by a group of Houthi men from his residence a few days back. Other men who were captured along with Salman were released but Salman was reportedly still in custody of the rebels. Salman hadn’t visited his family in Kerala since moving to Yemen and worked as a farm worker there, said Sarafulla.

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