66 Indians evacuated from Cote d'Ivoire

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Amid intensifying violence in the West African nation of Cote d'Ivoire, 66 Indian nationals, including 11 women and 12 children, were Tuesday safely evacuated from Abidjan to Ghana's capital Accra, officials said.

They were evacuated on a Boeing 737 aircraft chartered by India's external affairs ministry. They landed at the Kotoko International Airport, Accra at 4 p.m. (local time) (9.30 p.m. IST) Tuesday. 'They were duly received by officials of the High Commission of India in Accra and rendered necessary consular and other assistance,' the external affairs ministry said here.

The Indian missions in Abidjan, the commercial capital of Cote d'Ivoire, and Accra arranged the evacuation in close coordination with members of the Indian community in Abidjan and other concerned authorities.

In a statement, India lauded the cooperation and support received from the Ghanaian and other authorities in the course of evacuation.

Last week, India's ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire Shamma Jain was 'safely evacuated' from her residence, near the presidential palace due to 'very heavy fighting in Abidjan'.

The gunfire continued on the streets of Abidjan as Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast's president-elect, asked for French and UN assistance to restore security a day after the arrest of his rival Laurent Gbagbo.