NEW DELHI: India said on Sunday it was taking steps to ensure the safe evacuation of its nationals from Yemen after a sailors’ group claimed that 70 seamen from Gujarat were stranded in the war-ravaged country.
“Our Mission in Yemen (camp office in Djibouti) is aware of the situation and is taking steps to ensure safe evacuation of Indians,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in Delhi.
Nearly 70 sailors from the coastal village of Mandavi in Kutch and from Jodiya and Salaya villages of Jamnagar were stuck for over 15 days now at Khokha port in Yemen where they had gone to deliver cargo in five boats, a sailors’ group in Gujarat said, appealing to the government to rescue them. Soon after, six Indians, most of them from Gujarat, were killed when their boat came under Saudi-led air strikes in the Arab country, which is reeling due to a civil war. Shia Houthi rebels and supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh are fighting against the forces loyal to President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
“About 70 Gujarati sailors along with five vessels are stranded in Yemen for around 15 days and they now need the government’s help for their rescue,” Vahanvatta Association of Kutch and Mandavi president Haji Juneja told a news agency.
“Saturday, I wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs urging them to save our sailors or shift them to a safer place,” he said.