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417 stranded Iraqi migrants evacuated from Belarus

Iraq,Politics

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Baghdad, Dec 11 (IANS) The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that it has evacuated 417 Iraqi migrants stranded in Belarus due to the ongoing crisis at the latter country's border with European nations.

"A ninth evacuation flight was operated for those who wanted to return voluntarily, with 417 Iraqi passengers on board," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf said in a statement on Friday.

The number of evacuated migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border has reached over 3,550, many of whom are women and children, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

In an earlier statement, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi stressed the importance of taking all "necessary measures to preserve the security and safety of Iraqi citizens, and work to avoid any Iraqis becoming a victim of human trafficking networks".

Since August, thousands of migrants, most of whom are from Iraq, Syria and Yemen, have been stranded at the border between Belarus and its neighbours, seeking to enter the EU territory.

However, more migrants arrived at the Belarusian side of the border with Poland in November.

Numerous clashes have occurred on Belarus's borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

--IANS

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