At least 130 nurses from Kerala were rescued and relocated from a hospital in Saudi Arabia's Samta region, which has been under heavy shelling by the Yemen-based Houthi rebels, according to reports.
The Malayali nurses, who were reportedly working at Samta General Hospital, were rescued after the Ministry of External Affairs intervened after a request from Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. They have been relocated to King Fahd Hospital in Jizan province for safety reasons, reported Manorama Online.
Earlier, 50 Keralite nurses were awaiting go-ahead from the Indian embassy to return home. "We have been living in fear for the last three days at the 150-bed Samtah General Hospital attached to Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry due to mortar firing and shelling. About 50 nurses have decided to return to India. Sunday was our last day at work," IANS quoted one of the nurses, T Thanu, as saying.
"We want the Indian embassy to ensure that we get our experience certificates while a few new nursing recruits get their certificates back from the agency that recruited them," added the nurse, who hails from Thrissur. "If it is not possible, we want to return to India at the earliest."
Later, they received a call from the Prime Minister's Office, assuring them of a safe return.
Two Malayalis were killed when the shells fired by Houthi rebels fell in Samta area last week.
The Houthis have been retaliating after the Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched an air-strike. Several Indians have been killed in the crossfire between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.