BAIJI , Iraq, June 17 (UPI) -- Fifty foreign nationals employed in a Siemens Energy plant in Baiji, Iraq, were safely evacuated after the facility was surrounded by militants.
The employees stayed in the plant, encircled by gunmen of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who took over Baiji last week. The workers, all technicians for the German engineering and electrical company, were flown to Baghdad and Erbil by a chartered plane and an Iraqi army helicopter Sunday, it was reported Tuesday.
An initial evacuation by road failed after the employees' convoy met roadblocks and was turned back.
Siemens' presence in the area concerned the service and maintenance of a 600 megawatt gas power plant in Baiji -- near Mosul and 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Baghdad.
Eight of the technicians were German nationals. Last week, Germany requested the 1,000 German nationals in Iraq to leave several provinces overrun by militants, as well as the Baghdad area.