New Delhi, Apr 3: India today finally got permission to land in Sanaa, following which it conducted two air sorties and evacuated 351 nationals, taking the total number of evacuees to nearly 1000 from war-ravaged Yemen.
After hectic diplomatic efforts, India finally got permission to land in Sanaa and Air India made two sorties to pull out 351 nationals, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said. Air India had sent two 180-seater Airbus A320 planes to Muscat on March 30 for evacuation of Indians from Sanaa to Djibouti but they could not fly to the Yemeni city as clearance was not given by the concerned authorities.
"Though the government was working on four air sorties but due to time corridor factor, only two could be held. The 351 evacuees have reached Djibouti," officials said. Nearly 2,500 Indian nationals are waiting in Sanaa to flee the strife-torn country.
Meanwhile, Navy vessel INS Sumitra also reached Djibouti with 306 Indian nationals from Al Hudaydah. All the nationals will be brought home by special flights of the Air Force. Minister of State in External Affairs Ministry V K Singh is in Djibouti to oversee the evacuation operation.
INS Sumitra had evacuated 350 Indians from Aden on Tuesday, who were brought back to the country from Djibouti by two Air Force C-17 Globemasters. This is the fourth major evacuation the Indian government has undertaken.
The first three were in Ukraine, Iraq and Libya. Yemen has been witnessing fierce battle between Saudi-led coalition and Shiite rebels, who have battled their way into the heart of Yemen's main southern city Aden where fighting raged in the former stronghold of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi who has fled overseas.