Erbil (IraqiNews.com) The International Red Cross and subsequently the Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Kerala have confirmed to IraqiNews.com that the Indian nurses who have been held captive in Iraq have been freed.
“All the 46 nurses in Iraq are safe” chief minister of the southern Indian state of Kerala Oommen Chandy told a press conference on Friday, adding that they were to be transferred to Erbil airport.
All the nurses are from Kerala.
India is sending an aircraft to bring back the nurses, Mr Chandy said, adding that the plane will arrive in the southern city of Kochi on Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Indian officials said the nurses were “safe and unharmed”, but had been moved out of Tikrit.
Indian media reports said the nurses had been pressured into boarding buses and leaving the hospital by fighters belonging to the organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, but no further details were given about the circumstances in which they left or where they were headed.
According to the Indian Foreign Ministry, 39 Indian construction workers were also abducted two weeks ago near Mosul and were being held by the militants, but were safe and unharmed.
About 10,000 Indians work and live in Iraq, but only about 100 are in violent, insecure areas.
On Thursday, the Islamic State group released 32 Turkish who were captured in Mosul. The group still holds nearly 50 people who were seized at the Turkish consulate in the city last month.