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Iraq crisis: MEA issues travel rules for Indians

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-06-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Amid escalation of violence in Iraq, India on Sunday asked its citizens not to travel to the country and set up a 24-hour helpline to offer assistance to those living there.

The government also asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the “precarious” security situation there. “In view of the precarious security situation prevailing in Iraq, Indian nationals are advised to avoid all travel to Iraq,” the external affairs ministry (MEA) said.

Militants of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a breakaway group of the al Qaeda, have overrun many cities in northern Iraq. ISIS aims to create an Islamic state in Syria and Iraq by redrawing the current borders.

The Indian embassy in Baghdad has set up a 24-hour helpline that can be accessed for information or assistance. The MEA said “Indian nationals in Iraq may consider leaving the country by commercial means if it is safe to do so.”

It also asked Indians living in violence-affected areas in Iraq to remain indoors and remain in contact with Indian Embassy in Baghdad. “Those nationals who do not have travel documents or need other consular services are advised to seek assistance from the Indian Embassy in Baghdad,” the MEA also said.

The MEA has given following phone numbers for those who need any assistance: +964 770 444 4899; +964 770 444 4899 (mobile), Tel No. +964 770 484 3247; +964 770 484 3247 (mobile).

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