Source Pravda.Ru

Rescue aircraft flies to Iraq

The Russian Emergencies Ministry's aircraft has flown from Ramenskoye airport outside Moscow to Iraq to evacuate Russian experts, said the Ministry's information department.

"The aircraft will take about 90 Russian specialists of the Interenergoservis company. Their arrival in Moscow is expected tonight," said a ministry representative.

In his words, the second group of Russians will be evacuated on Friday.

Overall, there are about 240 Interenergoservis experts in Iraq now.

The decision about the evacuation was taken by the company management after an armed attack on a bus carrying Interenergoservis workers in Baghdad on Wednesday. Two Russians were killed as a result, another 8 were wounded.

The source said 12 ministry specialists, including 4 doctors, were on board the plane heading for Iraq. They will ensure evacuation and render necessary assistance to wounded Russians.

The ministry said two wounded people could not be taken on board the plane as their condition was very grave and they were in an Iraqi hospital.

"There is no talk about possible evacuation of these specialists yet; they will remain in the Iraqi hospital. Later, when they feel better, they will probably be brought to an American hospital, where they will stay until their condition makes it possible to deliver them to Russia," said the ministry representative.

Yesterday's tragedy seemed to be the last straw for the management of Interenergoservis engaged in Baghdad heat and power plant: on May 10 as a result of a similar attack the Russian company lost one employee and three others were taken hostage and were released only in a week. After that, the first group of Russian energy specialists returned home, while most of them decided to stay in Iraq.

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