The family members of the nurses are, meanwhile, keeping their fingers crossed. P. A. Jose, father of Marina M Jose, one of the nurses caught in the conflict zone, said he was not able to communicate with his daughter since Wednesday when the militants served an ultimatum on the nurses to vacate the hospital. He said that the media was the only source of his information.

“The reports from Iraq are disturbing. We understand that the militants have taken away the nurses. We don’t know what will happen to them. None can do anything in this situation. We have left it to the God to save them,” he added.

Sasi Kumar, father of Sudhi S Nair, another nurse taken away by the militants, was able to communicate with his daughter before the nurses boarded the bus. He said his daughter had informed him when she called him at 2.30 pm that they had decided to go with the militants as they feared that their refusal to move could endanger their lives.

Salim P Mathew, a relative of Subin, a nurse from Alappuzha, said that the nurses were in a state of panic when he talked to them at 2 pm. He said Subin had informed him that the nurses had agreed to move after the militants said that the hospital would be bombed.

Salim said an Arab had taken the phone when he called half an hour later and warned him not to make any further calls on the number. He said he had conveyed the information to the Non-resident Keralites Affairs Department and others concerned.

Twins Sona and Veena also called their parents before boarding the bus. A relative of the nurses said the nurses were unaware where they were being taken. He also said that they were terrified after the explosion, in which at least four were injured.

The family members could not get the nurses on the phone after their departure to the unknown destination. Most of them are glued to the television sets for the latest news.

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