Stranded foreigners seek early airlifting from Himachal

Shimla, June 21 (IANS) At least 16 foreigners, including 12 French, have sought early airlifting from Himachal Pradesh's Nako village after closure of roads due to landslides triggered by rains and snowfall last week, officials said Friday.

"Twelve French bikers met visiting Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and sought their early rescue from there," a government official, who accompanied the chief minister in rain-ravaged areas, told IANS.

He said the chief minister has directed the administration to airlift them as early as possible.

"Domestic tourists are mostly from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, whereas the foreign tourists are from France, Israel and Switzerland," the official said.

According to him, Nako village in Kinnaur district, some 330 km from state capital Shimla, is out of bounds as the National Highway 22 -- linking the village with the rest of the world -- has been closed after heavy landslides.