Indian nurses abduction by Iraq Isis militants
Indian nurses arrive at Erbil International Airport, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, after they were released by Iraqi Islamist militants.Reuters

The Indian nurses freed by the Sunni extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) claim that they felt 'protected' during their three-week-long captivity.

The 46 Indian nurses who landed safely in the southern Indian city of Kochi have only good things to share about the masked insurgents of Isis.

The nurses, 45 of who hail from the southern Indian state of Kerala, were abducted from strife-torn Tikrit and held captive in Mosul, the militant's stronghold.

While speaking with the press the nurses said they did not want to call the masked men terrorists as they never misbehaved with them, but on the contrary acted as their 'protectors'.

"Our apprehension really forced us to hate them. But later we found in such a lawless situation they were protecting us. At their mercy, they could have done anything to us but they never misbehaved or taunted any of us," NS Shruti, one of the freed nurses told Hindustan Times.

"It seems they were under tremendous pressure to protect us. Since they also a feared an attack from government forces they were under terrible pressure," the freed nurse added.

The nurses also claimed that the Isis militants took care of their food, water and sanitation needs but kept their faces covered all the time.

"What really scared us was they always covered their faces. They often changed the guard who kept a watch on us. So, it was tough to be friendly with them," another nurse, Sinu Mol told the website.

The nurses also described their experience of being ferried from Tikrit to Mosul by the Isis militants as 'harrowing.'

"We could see half-burnt vehicles and wailing relatives all along. We could really gauge the intensity of the civil war on our way to Mosul," nurse Sinu Mol told the website.

The release of the Indian nurses is one of the rare positive signs in the intensifying conflict in Iraq where the Sunni Islamist militants are pressing ahead against the Shiite-dominated administration in Baghdad.