Trapped, seven Nepalis prepare to flee Tikrit

  • Iraq Turmoil

Jun 28, 2014-

With no improvement in the security situation and their government failing to pull them out of strife-torn Iraq, seven Nepali workers trapped in Tikrit are preparing to flee to safety, risking their lives.

Pres Giri, a Nepali worker, told the Post on the phone that they feel more and more insecure and are grappling with food and water shortage. He said they are preparing to escape as the last resort.

“We have been waiting for the government to rescue us. The war is escalating and we have lost our hopes that the government will rescue us out of the danger,” said Giri of Jhapa.

Giri, Mohan Kumar Basnet of Morang and Top Bahadur Basnet of Dang have been hiding in a container on the premises of Tikrit Teaching Hospital, about 140 km north of Iraqi Capital Baghdad for two weeks, since their company was bombed by Islamic militants.

Dhan Bahadur BK of Rukum, Santosh Lamichhane of Kaski, Ajit Tamang of Okhaldhunga and Prakash Bishwokarma of Chitwan have been confined within their quarters for three weeks after their employer ran away, fearing for his life.

The trapped Nepalis said they are preparing to escape to the Kurdistan state, which is said to be comparatively safer and reportedly houses 25,000 Nepalis.

“An Iraqi person has promised to take us to the border of Kurdistan and Kirkuk through an illegal channel,” said Giri.

“Bangladeshi nationals are providing us with food. They are also in short supply now. We cannot venture out to buy foodstuffs,” said Giri, adding that the four trapped Nepalis face a similar situation.

The workers are in contact with the Nepali embassies in Pakistan and Kuwait. “Embassy officials are asking us to stay safe. We are living in terror as bombing takes place close by,” Giri added. According to him, the militants dropped a bomb from helicopter on the hospital premises on Saturday.

Nepali ambassador to Pakistan, Bharatraj Poudel said efforts are being made to rescue the Nepalis. He said the government will dispatch a special taskforce to help them. Meanwhile, the Nepal government has requested India, Pakistan, Turkey and some international organisations like International Committee of the Red Cross and International Office of Migration for the evacuation of Nepalis from Iraq.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also decided to dispatch a team to Kuwait to assess the situation and aid the relocation of Nepalis to safer places.


Published: 29-06-2014 08:22

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