New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, July 3 :
The 46 Indian nurses, who were moved from their work place in Iraq’s Tikrit city by Sunni insurgents Thursday afternoon, are near Mosul and are being treated well, said informed sources.
It was around 2.30 p.m. (Indian time) that these nurses, all from Kerala, were put in a bus but their destination was not confirmed.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is in Delhi, is being kept informed of the developments through a Kerala male nurse presently in Iraq, said the sources.
According to the male nurse, he established contact with the nurses who told him that enroute to Mosul, they were given water and food and the insurgents numbering four allowed them to speak to their relatives in Kerala.
A source close to Chandy told IANS that he and his three senior cabinet colleagues are in touch with the Indian embassy officials in Baghdad.
“These nurses have conveyed through the male nurse to Chandy that they wish to return and both the state and central government should explore all means to see that they make a safe return to India,” said the source who did not wish to be identified.
The nearest airport near Mosul is the Erbil international airport, about 70 km from Mosul.
State Municipalities Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali, who is also in New Delhi, told a TV channel that all efforts are being made at all levels to see that these nurses are brought back.
“We just can’t say more because there is a civil war that’s on in Iraq and given the situation in Tikrit, these nurses are safe at the moment and we are told that the people who are with the nurses have behaved with them in a proper manner,” said Ali.