The nurses were freed by the insurgents on Friday following intense diplomatic efforts by India. The flight made a 'technical halt' in Mumbai for refuelling and catering supplies. It left for Kochi at 9:55 am.

The flight will now leave for Hyderabad at 12:55 pm and reach there around 2:25 pm. Its last destination would be Delhi where it is expected to arrive at 5: 40 pm, the officials said.

Chandy on Saturday thanked the Narendra Modi government for ensuring the return of the Indian nurses from strife-hit Iraq with their safe evacuation capping days of anxiety for the state as it waited for a resolution to the crisis.

A visibly relieved Chandy expressed his gratitude for the Centre, especially External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for bringing the matter to a happy conclusion.

"The Centre has acted in complete understanding of the deep anxieties of Kerala. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Iraq have made sincere efforts in securing the release of the nurses," Chandy told reporters here on Saturday morning.
Even his political rivals at home admitted that persistent efforts by Chandy, who had camped in Delhi for the last two days, saw the Centre making all out efforts to secure the safe return of the nurses.

The nurses remained trapped in a hospital in Iraq's Tikrit for several days after the area came under the control of the militants of ISIS.
Voicing relief over the return of the nurses, CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan acknowledged the efforts of the Centre and the state government in the matter.
A special Air India flight carrying the 46 Indian nurses and 137 others released by ISIS arrived this morning in Mumbai, from where it is headed to Kochi.


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