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70 Gujarat seamen stranded in crisis-hit Yemen: Sailors' group

Ahmedabad:  Nearly 70 sailors from Gujarat are stranded in crisis-hit Yemen for over 15 days now and have appealed to the Indian government to rescue them, days after six Indians were killed when their boat
PTI September 13, 2015 19:07 IST
PTI

Ahmedabad:  Nearly 70 sailors from Gujarat are stranded in crisis-hit Yemen for over 15 days now and have appealed to the Indian government to rescue them, days after six Indians were killed when their boat came under Saudi-led air strikes in the Arab country.

According to a sailors' group, nearly 70 seamen from the coastal village of Mandavi in Kutch and from the Jodiya and Salaya villages of Jamnagar are stranded in Yemen along with five of their cargo boats.

“About 70 Gujarati sailors along with five vessels are stranded in Yemen for around 15 days and they now need the government's help for their rescue,” Vahanvatta Association of Kutch and Mandavi president Haji Juneja told PTI.  

“I yesterday wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs urging them to save our sailors or shift them to a safer place,” he said.
“The sailors are in a pitiable condition as some forces have been bombarding them.

They escaped death last night when some force, either of the insurgents or the Saudi coalition, began an attack with rocket launchers,” he said, adding that the sailors had gone to Yemen on a voyage to deliver cargo.  

Meanwhile, one of the stranded sailors, identified as Sikandar from Mandavi village, sent an audio message last night in which he said that they last night came under a bomb attack.

“I am an Indian. My name is Sikandar. We are at Khokha port. They have lobbed three rockets and we somehow managed to save ourselves. We are running here and there to save ourselves,” Sikandar says in the message.  “We are 70 Indians stranded here along with five ships.

They have been bombarding us with warplanes. Please help us.
We are Indians. We are in great difficulty. They will kill us.Please save us,” he said.

Yemen has been facing a civil war-like situation with Shiite rebels clashing with pro-government forces. United Nations estimates that more than 4,500 people have been killed in the conflict since March.

The External Affairs Ministry had said on Friday that six Indians were killed after their boat came under Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen on September 8.

The deceased were among seven Indian nationals who were initially reported missing when two boats, ‘Mustafa' and ‘Asmar', carrying a total of 21 Indian nationals, came under aerial attack.

The ministry had said that of the remaining 15 Indians, 14 were safe in Hodeidah while one person was still missing. It had added that local authorities were being contacted to ascertain his whereabouts.