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Over 500 Indian pilgrims await rescue, 883 evacuated

New Delhi, July 5: The government said on Thursday said that 883 Kailash Mansarovar Yatra pilgrims were evacuated from Simikot region in Nepal in the last three days and over 500 were still awaiting rescue flights. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters that the Indian Embassy in Nepal has undertaken a massive exercise to evacuate pilgrims both from Hilsa and Simikot and “if the weather holds we will be able to get them out in the near future”. In the last three days, 883 stranded pilgrims have been evacuated from Simikot to Nepalgunj and Surkhet. “At least 675 pilgrims were evacuated from Hilsa to Simikot. Fifty-three civilian flights were operated to get the pilgrims out and 142 chopper sorties were carried out,” Kumar said. He added that there was no crisis situation and pilgrims were stranded because weather had packed up. (IANS)