On Sunday, India reported via external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup that it is taking steps towards ensuring its nationals’ safe evacuation from Yemen following claims by a sailors group that 70 Gujarat seafarers are stranded amidst the country in war.
Roughly 70 seafarers from the Salaya and Jodiya villages of Jamnagar and from the Mandavi coastal village in Kutch have been stranded at Yemen’s Khokha port for more than 15 days. They had initially gone to Yemen in order to deliver cargo.
The trip came following the killing of six Indians (most of them from Gujarat), whose boat was attacked by Saudi-led air forces.
One of the stranded sailors, who was positively identified as being Sikandar from Mandavi village, was able to send an audio message in which he commented the bomb attack.
“We are 70 Indians in total here and we are stranded along with five ships. Warplanes have been bombarding us and we need help. We are Indians and we are in a time of great difficulty as they are going to kill us. Please help us,” said Sikandar.
Yemen has been forced to deal with a civil war-like situation with Shiite rebels and pro-government forces clashing on a number of occasions. According to estimates of the United Nations, over 4,500 people have lost their lives since the conflict started in March.
On Friday, the external affairs ministry stated that six Indian nationals have been killed after Saudi-led warplanes attacked their boat on September 8th. The deceased were among the seven Indians who were reported missing when the Asmar and Mustafa boats, transporting 21 Indians in total, came under aerial fire.
The ministry has commented the matter of the remaining 15 Indian nationals, by stating that 14 of them are safe and sound in Hodeidah while the 15th one is still regarded as being missing.