India evacuates over 1,000 from Yemen, Modi praises efforts

New Delhi: Over 1,000 people were evacuated from strife-torn Yemen on Monday by India which also received requests for assistance from 26 countries including the US and France. Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the coordinated efforts by various ministries, and especially lauded his colleagues Sushma Swaraj and V.K. Singh.

External affairs ministry's spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on Monday evening that there has been a surge in evacuation efforts. The people were evacuated by Air India and the Indian Navy. "Surge in evacuation efforts. 1000 plus evacuated today from Yemen 574 by 3 flights ex Sana'a by @airindiain 479 by INS Mumbai ex Al Hudaydah," he said.


Indian nationals who were stranded in Yemen seek information at Government help desk, after being evacuated from Djibouti International Airport, in Mumbai on early Monday morning. Pic/ PTI

He also said requests for assistance were growing. "Requests for Indian assistance in evacuation from Yemen keeps growing. On last count 26 requests received," Akbaruddin said in another tweet. He said that while one flight carrying Indians was expected to land in Mumbai around 11.15 p.m., another was expected to land in Kochi around 11.30 p.m.

In a tweet earlier in the day, Akbaruddin had said evacuation by Air India from Yemen's capital Sana'a was the highest so far. "Exceeding previous efforts. Evacuation by Air India today from Sana'a was highest thus far. 574 persons head from Yemen to Djibouti." India has evacuated over 3,000 of its nationals from Yemen so far by air and sea.

The 26 countries that India has received request for assistance in evacuation of their citizens include the US, Bangladesh, France, Germany, and Sri Lanka. Yemen is witnessing continuing fighting between the Shia Houthi rebels and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition of 10 nations, which has launched air strikes in Yemen.

Prime Minister Modi, in a series of tweets, praised the repatriation efforts as well as that of his two ministers, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh, for personally overseeing the evacuation efforts.

"Salute the services of our civilian & defence officials & organisations in helping evacuate our citizens from Yemen. Continue your efforts!" "Seamless co-operation between organisations- MEA, Navy, Air Force, Air India, Shipping, Railways & State Govts greatly helped in rescue work."

"Colleagues @SushmaSwaraj & @Gen_VKSingh (who has been on the ground for days), have co-ordinated evacuation efforts in an exemplary manner." Modi said the evacuation efforts in Yemen "reflect willingness to serve our people & readiness to help others in distress, which is India's ethos". "I am also glad that India has rescued several non-Indian citizens from Yemen," the prime minister said.

On Sunday, Sushma Swaraj had tweeted that India would evacuate all Indian nationals from Yemen. "Nobody will be left behind for want of travel documents." She also said all Indian nationals have been evacuated from the southern Yemeni port of Aden. "The evacuation from Aden is complete - thanks to Indian Navy."

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