Fifteen Bangladeshi workers, who remained captive by rebels in trouble-torn Iraq for 24 days, returned home this morning.
This is the first batch, who returned from Iraq under Bangladesh government’s arrangement since the unrest began in the country following severe internal conflicts involving different forces, said Bodier Rahman, deputy secretary of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.
Rahman received the Bangladeshis when they arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka by an Air Arabia flight around 9:00am.
A total of 31 Bangladeshis along with 46 Indian nurses were held captive by rebels in Iraq city of Tikrit for 24 days till July 4.
The Bangladeshis and the Indian nurses were freed on July 4, the official said.
In a joint initiative, Iraq government and Bangladesh embassy took the Bangladeshi workers to Kurdistan first from where they were shifted to Irbill airport of the country, the ministry official said.
But 16 out of 31 Bangladeshis left the airport as the workers remained stranded at Irbill airport until they started for Bangladesh today, he added.
A returnee, Md Russel of Narsingdi, told The Daily Star that the rebels did not misbehave with any of the captives.
Earlier, 136 Bangladeshis returned from Iraq on their own initiatives on the "security ground" since the unrest began in the country last month.