THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, July 15: The first Indian Airforce flight C-17 carrying 156 persons, who were evacuated from war-torn South Sudan's capital city Juba, arrived here early today.
The evacuees also included two Nepali citizens, besides nine women and three children.
The passengers from Kerala and some from Tamil Nadu disembarked after a brief halt here before leaving for Delhi.
Minister of State for External Affairs, V K Singh, who accompanied the passengers, told reporters at the airport that 156 persons have been evacuated, of whom two are from Nepal.
There are over 550 Indians at Juba and another 150 in areas where the oil wells are located.
"When we landed, 156 came out with us. There were 30-40 people who had already booked their tickets when the commercial flights started and 300 people did not want to be evacuated due to their business concerns and other activities.
There are 9 women and three children among those evacuated," Singh said.
On those who turned down the government's plea to be evacuated, Singh said, "we tried to convince them. I suppose business comes first, life comes later (for them).After fighting broke out in Juba and its outskirts, our aim was to evacuate our people who were in danger. As per our information, there were 550 plus people in Juba itself with another 150 indians in areas where the oil wells are there." (Agencies)