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Bangladeshis from Yemen return

28Some 337 Bangladeshis evacuated from Yemen have reached home in two special flights of Biman from India’s southern state of Kerala.

They were evacuated by the Indian naval ships and later carried by passenger ships to Kochi port in Kerala state on Saturday.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines flights carried them to Dhaka from there early on Sunday.

The first flight landed at 4.30am with 190 evacuees while the second landed 15 minutes later with 147 of them.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam received them at the airport.

He said they all were “safe and sound”.

Yemen became a fierce battleground with the rise of Shia Houthis who took over the capital six months ago and ousted its President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The situation took a turn for the worse when Saudi-led airstrikes began.

India had carried out massive evacuation for a month before it called off last week.

Its naval ships have evacuated around 500 Bangladeshis and some from other nations, besides Indian nationals who were stuck in Yemen..

Shahriar Alam told journalists at the airport that the Indian ships had evacuated 508 Bangladeshis from Yemen.

Few of them have earlier returned.

The rest, 136, who were evacuated towards the end of the Indian rescue operation, would be flown back to Dhaka from Djibouti on Apr 20 in a Biman Bangladesh Airlines special flight, the foreign ministry had said earlier.

Bangladesh has no mission both in Yemen and Djibouti, a small African nation opposite Yemen, where Dhaka has opened a control cell to coordinate the rescue operations.

The Indian rescue operations, the biggest mounted by its navy and air force in recent times, was supervised by India’s junior foreign minister  General VK Singh (retd), who is a former army chief.