New Delhi: Amidst heavy shelling in Aden, India took great caution in evacuating 439 of its nationals to the naval ship INS Mumbai anchored off the coast –ferrying the people in small batches by boat to the ship. On Saturday, over 1,200 Indians were evacuated from Yemen by air and by sea, adding to the around 1,000 Indians who have arrived back in India so far, the government said.
India has also helped pull out nationals from Bangladesh, Djibouti, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda from the strife-torn country.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “There is heavy shelling in Aden. The ship is anchored 5/6 KM off the coast. Indian nationals are being taken by boat to board the ship there.”
The external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: “Precious cargo. INS Mumbai to sail from Aden to Djibouti in pitch darkness with precious cargo of 439 evacuated from Yemen.”
He earlier said: “Even as we evacuated 1,800 of our citizens from Yemen we also helped some from Bangladesh, Djibouti, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda so far.”
He added that in the morning 322 Indians were evacuated by air from Yemen, while more than 370 nationals were pulled out by sea in the afternoon.
Over 300 Indian evacuated from Yemen are to reach Kochi late on Saturday.
He said 978 Indians were evacuated in the last four days. The figure did not include the Indians who were expected to land in Kochi late on Saturday.
Two Indian Air Force flights carrying 334 Indian nationals evacuated from Yemen had landed in Mumbai on Friday night.
A total of 330 Indians had arrived on an Air India flight in Kochi early on Saturday.
Yemen has been engulfed in strife, as Shia Houthi rebels continued their advance against exiled president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's loyalists who are being supported by Saudi Arabia-led air strikes.
With the violence increasing, India on Friday stepped up its evacuation. India began evacuating its nationals by air from Sana'a as two Air India flights took off with 351 Indians to Djibouti.