43 nurses from Libya arrive safely in Kerala
Indian nurses walk after they were released by Iraqi Islamist militants, as they arrive at Arbil International Airport, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, July 5, 2014. Nearly 50 Indian nurses abducted by suspected Islamist militants in Iraq have been released and will be flown home on Saturday, Indian officials said.
Kochi: The first batch of 43 Keralite nurses, stranded in strife torn Libya, arrived in Kochi today.
The nurses, working in various hospitals in Libya, had reached Tunisia, from where they reached Dubai to take the scheduled flight to Kochi, CEO of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs department (NoRKA) P Sudeep told PTI.
58 had reached Tunisia from Tripoli two days ago, of which 43 reached today.
While three nurses are expected to arrive by another flight, the remaining are expected to reach Kerala on Wednesday.
The state government will be giving a cash assistance of Rs. 2,000 each to the nurses for their onward journey from here, he added.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on August 1 wrote to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seeking the Centre's help in arranging flight for facilitating the return of the nurses.
Fighting between rival militias in Tripoli over the past three weeks and bloody clashes between Islamists and army in the eastern city of Benghazi have prompted several countries to evacuate their nationals and diplomatic staff.
Last month, forty six nurses, who were held captive by ISIS militants in Iraq, returned home by a special Air India Flight bringing an end to their about month long trauma.