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November 15, 2019
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‘Trapped’ India nurses in Iraq conflict to be freed

A group of 46 Indian nurses trapped in Iraq’s weeks-long conflict are to be freed and will head to the Kurdish regional capital Arbil, one of the nurses told AFP Friday.

“Some here … they are saying … we will go to Arbil,” Tincy Thomas told AFP by telephone, adding that the group had recently been moved to the militant-held city of Mosul.

An Indian diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the group were expected later on Friday in Arbil, which is a short drive from Mosul but has been insulated from the unrest.


The diplomat said that a team of Indian government officials were waiting in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, and that arrangements were being made to fly the nurses home to India.

He said the group was separate from another 39 Indian workers being held in Mosul, Iraq’s second-biggest city and the first to fall in a jihadist-led offensive that has overrun swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad.

The Indian government estimates that around 120 of its nationals have been caught up in the unrest.