Kerala nurses in violence-hit Iraq seek help from state govt

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Baghdad, June 16: Kerala government has reportedly received an SOS call from a group of nurses from violence-hit Iraq on Friday.

Chief Minister Oomen Chandy called Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to brief her regarding the nurses' situation.

The life in Iraq has been hit by the strife between the Shi'ite-led government and Sunni militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which seized the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit last week and now threatens Baghdad.

According to an NDTV report, 44 Indian nurses working in Iraq have been asked to indicate in writing whether they want government assistance in returning home and most of them said they would prefer to stay on.

An IBN live report quotes President of the United Nurses Association Kerala, Jasmineshah saying, "More than 100 nurses are stranded in Iraq. Most of them are from Kerala. The Central and State government should take immediate action to ensure that the nurses and their families are safe."

The Kerala government says that the nurses who asked for help are worried about how they will be escorted safely from hospitals to airports. The employers have granted them permission to leave for home, but reportedly, has denied any help on escorting them to airport.

According to government estimates, at least 200 Indians . most of them construction workers, are currently based in Iraq, where (Sunni Militants Capture Northern Iraqi Town)

Sources said that India has no plans to withdraw its diplomats from Iraq. The Indian Embassy in Baghdad has set up a 24-hour helpline for Indians living in the country.

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