India began evacuating its nationals by air from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a as two Air India flights took off with 351 Indians for the African nation of Djibouti, across the Gulf of Aden, even as an Indian naval ship reached there with 306 people who would be flown back home.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: “1st air evacuation from Yemen successful. 2 Air India flights evacuate a total of 351 Indians from Sana’a to Djibouti.”
He also tweeted a photo of the 306 Indians who have arrived in Djibouti for being flown back to India. “Relief. Indians evacuated by INS Sumitra from Al Hodeidah now in Djibouti enroute to their homes in India.”
He earlier said that the government is “working on all fronts” to pull out its citizens from strife-torn Yemen. “Working on all fronts. We are making all out efforts to significantly enhance evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen.”
Separately, 35 Indian nationals crossed over from Yemen to Saudi Arabia and are now in Gizan, a port city near the Yemen border, he tweeted, adding that MEA officials are assisting them to return to India.
On Thursday, another batch of 35 Indians had arrived in Djibouti aboard a cargo vessel from Aden.
So far, the Indian government has been able to evacuate more than 700 Indian nationals from Yemen and 350 have come back home, the spokesperson said.
“Around 2,000-2,500 Indian nationals wish to come back and today we hope to significantly enhance our evacuation efforts,” he said.
The 306 Indian nationals who landed in Djibouti were evacuated from the western Yemeni port city of Al Hodeidah by sea on board INS Sumitra.
The 306 Indians who left Al Hodeidah port, on the western coast of Yemen, comprised 251 men, 38 women and 17 children.
Defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted that one more Globemaster C-17 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force has arrived in Djibouti from Jamnagar.
This is the second batch of Indians to be evacuated on board INS Sumitra. It had earlier this week brought over 350 Indians from Aden to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. Early Thursday morning, 358 Indians arrived from Yemen in two airplanes – one landed in Kochi and the other in Mumbai.