Indian nurses on way to non-conflict area in Iraq

Indian nurses on way to non-conflict area in IraqNEW DELHI: 46 Indian nurses, who were forced to move out of Tikrit city in Iraq’s conflict zone, are on their way to Erbil, a non-conflict area in the country where a team of Indian officials is waiting for them.

According to sources, the nurses would be reaching Erbil, the largest city of Kurdistan region of Iraq, shortly.

From Erbil, the nurses, most of whom are from Kerala, will take a flight to India, according to the sources.

The nurses were taken by Sunni militants ISIS yesterday from a hospital basement in Tikrit to an undisclosed location.

There were about 10,000 Indians before the start of the serious strife between government troops and Sunni militants, backed by al Qaida. The militants have captured two key cities and are marching towards Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced in the fighting that broke out on June 10. Kerala government is sending a woman IAS officer in an aircraft, which is going from Delhi to Erbil and is expected to bring the nurses back.

State government sources said Indian officials in the Iraqi region have made arrangements for the safe stay of the nurses once they get their custody.

The nurses are likely to be brought to Kochi tomorrow morning, the sources said.–PTI