First batch of stranded Indians leaves Sudan in naval ship

New Delhi:┬áThe first batch of Indians stranded in violence-hit Sudan left the country onboard India’s naval ship INS Sumedha as part of the evacuation mission ‘Operation Kaveri’.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said 278 people onboard the ship departed Port Sudan for the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

“First batch of stranded Indians leave Sudan under #OperationKaveri. INS Sumedha with 278 people onboard departs Port Sudan for Jeddah,” Bagchi tweeted.

India on Monday launched ‘Operation Kaveri’ to bring back its nationals from Sudan that has been witnessing fierce fighting following a power struggle between the regular army and a paramilitary force.

On Sunday, India said it has positioned two transport aircraft of the IAF in Jeddah and naval ship INS Sumedha at Port Sudan as part of its contingency plans to evacuate the stranded Indians.

The government had on Friday said it was focusing on the safety of over 3,000 Indian citizens currently located throughout Sudan.

The deadly fighting between Sudan’s army and a paramilitary group for the past 12 days has reportedly left around 400 people dead.