NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian official says dozens of Indian nurses who have been stranded in northern Iraq are safe and will be flown back to India on Saturday.

The chief minister of Kerala state, Oommen Chandy, said Friday that the nurses will return home on a special aircraft arranged by the Indian government. They are expected to arrive in the southern city of Kochi.

The 46 nurses had been stranded for more than a week in Tikrit, where militants from the leading Islamic militant group fighting in Iraq have taken over.

Chandy gave few other details.