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India nurses return from Iraq to emotional welcome

Published on Jul 5, 2014 5:06 PM
 
Some of the 46 Indian Nurses, held hostage by Islamic militants in Iraq, wait at the airport before flying home on July 4, 2014, in the city of Arbil in the autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. A group of 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in an area of Iraq seized by Islamic militants were greeted by tears and cheers from relatives on Saturday, July 5, 2014, as they arrived home in southern India. -- PHOTO: AFP

KOCHI, India (AFP) - A group of 46 Indian nurses who were trapped in an area of Iraq seized by Islamic militants were greeted by tears and cheers from relatives on Saturday as they arrived home in southern India.

The relatives, clutching flower bouquets and hoisting "Welcome Home" banners, thronged the nurses as they emerged into the airport in the Kerala city of Kochi, tearfully embracing them.

"We're happy and relieved," one unidentified nurse told local television stations.

The nurses found themselves stranded while working in a state-run hospital in Tikrit when jihadists launched their lightning offensive last month. It was not immediately clear if the nurses had been abducted and held captive or if they had been trapped and were unable to leave.

 
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