Two more warships sent to Lebanon to evacuate 850 more
New Delhi, July 23: As Israel intensified air attacks and mounted limited land incursions into Lebanon, India today stepped up the evacuation of its stranded nationals from the embattled country by sending in two more warships to pull out another 850 people.
With this the total number of people brought out of Lebanon by sea has risen to 1458. There were an estimated 12,000 Indians in Lebanon before the hostilities erupted.
Two naval warships INS Mumbai and INS Brahmaputra which were moved in the Mediterranean Sea off the Lebanese coast today entered Beirut harbour to evacuate the second batch of stranded Indians.
INS Mumbai, officials said docked at Beirut port for the second time this week at 0830 hrs local time and sailed off for Larnaca, in Cyprus with 440 Indian nationals.
Indian Navy has four warships in the Mediterranean Sea tasked to carry out the evacuation of Indian nationals and INS Mumbai missile-destroyer is the largest of the four.
INS Mumbai was followed into the Beirut port by INS Brahmaputra which was to embark another 410 Indian nationals still waiting to be evacuated.
Naval officials said that because INS Brahmaputra was a smaller warship and if need arose another warship INS Betwa would be sent to pull out all the remaining evacuees.
Besides, this some Nepalese nationals could also be evacuated as there has been a request from Kathmandu to help evacuate Nepalese nationals in Lebanon.
From Larcana in Cyprus Air India would bring the Indian nationals back home in special flights. According to an Air India spokesman the airlines would be running special flights to Cyprus every alternate day to bring back the Indians to Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi. (SOURCE : ZEENEWS.COM)