Six Indians killed in Saudi air strikes in Yemen: MEA

RSTV Bureau
Sanaa : An explosion and smoke rise after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition at a weapons depot in Sanaa, Yemen. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of mainly Gulf nations fighting the Houthis, who seized the capital, Sanaa, last September.  Photo - PTI/Agencies

Sanaa : An explosion and smoke rise after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition at a weapons depot in Sanaa, Yemen. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of mainly Gulf nations fighting the Houthis, who seized the capital, Sanaa, last September.
Photo – PTI/Agencies

Six Indians have been confirmed killed in Yemen after their boat came under the attack of Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen coast earlier this week, the Union External Affairs ministry announced Friday evening. The six were among seven Indian nationals reported to be missing when two boats on the Yemen coast naming , ‘Mustafa’ and ‘Asmar’, carrying a total of 21 Indian nationals, came under the aerial attack on September 8.

Releasing the press statement in New Delhi late on Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs expressed regret confirmed the incident and subsequent casualties of Indian nationals. The statement also added that the bodies of six Indian nationals were recovered and brought to the Military Hospital in Yemen.

“The families of the deceased have been informed, and their verbal consent has been taken for appropriate funeral rites to be performed in Hodeidah as per religious practises,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the press pack in the national capital.

The MEA spokesperson also added that the Indian embassy in Yemen’s Camp Office in Djibouti has been constantly in touch with the authorities and local contacts to ascertain more details. The Union ministry also confirmed that 14 other Indian nationals were safe and undergoing treatment for the wounds, while they are still trying to ascertain the details about one more national still said to be “missing”.

“Of the remaining 15 Indians on the two boats, 14 are safe in Hodeidah, and of these four are undergoing treatment in a local hospital. All the 14 are in regular touch with their families. One person is still missing, and the Mission is working with the local authorities and contacts to
ascertain his whereabouts,” Vikas Swarup added.

Earlier on Tuesday, media reports quoting residents and fishermen, had claimed that at least 20 Indian nationals were killed in air strikes by Saudi-led coalition forces on fuel smugglers at the Hodeidah port. Those claims were initially dismissed by the Indian authorities.

According to the MEA, most of the seamen who came under the attack are from Gujarat.

India does not have an Embassy in conflict-torn Yemen which was shut down April this year after the evacuation of its nationals.

(With inputs from the PTI)