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INS Mumbai evacuates 440 Indians from Yemen

New Delhi, April 5 Indian naval ship INS Mumbai reached Djibouti safely on Sunday with a total of 440 people which includes Indians and nationals of 17 other countries on board who were evacuated from the Yemeni port of Aden amid heavy shelling.

The Indians on board were more than 260.

The ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted on Sunday: “With our citizens, we have assisted others in distress in Yemen, 200 + from 20 other countries of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America in growing list.”

“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The world is a family. Nationals of 17 other countries evacuated by INS Mumbai from Yemen along with Indians.”

“A safe haven called INS Mumbai. In humanitarian effort, along with Indians 179 others from 17 countries evacuated from Aden yesterday,” he posted.

Sitanshu Kar, the ministry of defence spokesperson tweeted that INS Mumbai is entering Djibouti harbour.

Giving a breakup of the passengers on board INS Mumbai, Kar tweetd: “#YemenEvacuation 441 evacuees on board INS Mumbai- Male 240, Female- 121, Kids- 80.”

Giving a breakup of the foreign nationals, he posted: “Foreigners break up. Hungary 4, Yemen 93, UK 24, Russia 2, France 8, Egypt 19, Nepal 1, Canada 2, Lebanon 3.”

“Sri Lanka 1, Morocco 1, Syria 2, Jordan 5, Italy 1, Romania 2, Sweden 5, USA 3. Total- 176.”

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh was busy planning the evacuation of the rest of the Indian nationals from strife-torn Yemen.

“Early morning in Djibouti. Planning for another evacuation effort underway with MoSA @Gen_VKSingh chairing session,” the MEA spokesperson said, with a photo.

On Saturday night, India had pulled out over 439 Indian nationals from Aden amidst heavy shelling in an operation codenamed “Rahat”.

The Indian Navy, in a release said the operation was carried out “despite mounting difficulties and challenges”.

INS Mumbai was berthed outside the port of Aden.

“Even as the battle between warring factions intensified in Aden city, the evacuation of Indian nationals from Aden was executed on priority in near war-like conditions. Evacuation of over 400 persons was undertaken using small crafts plying between the ship and the Aden harbour.”

INS Mumbai was berthed around five km off the coast “as local authorities did not accord necessary approvals for INS Mumbai to enter Aden port due to the worsening situation there.”

The people were ferried in small craft in batches to the waiting ship.

“These crafts were hired by authorities ashore for this purpose. The operation was conducted till just past sunset and on completion of embarkation of evacuees, the ship proceeded to Djibouti to disembark them for onward passage to India,” the statement said on Saturday evening.