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39 Indians killed in Mosul; news updates: Will leave no stones unturned in bringing our dead back, tweets Modi

Thirty-nine Indians kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq's Mosul in 2014 are dead, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

FP Staff March 20, 2018 18:19:22 IST
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39 Indians killed in Mosul; news updates: Will leave no stones unturned in bringing our dead back, tweets Modi

Latest updates: "We do not know when they were killed, could be six months back or two years back, in any case search for bodies would have begun only after the liberation of Mosul which happened in July," Swaraj said.

Family members of those killed said that no one from the government reached out to them and they heard the news on television. Sushma will brief the press shortly.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said he is shocked to hear of the confirmation of deaths of 39 kidnapped Indians in Mosul.

As family members of those killed mourn the tragedy, one of them said that the government had made false promises to the people.

Union minister VK Singh said that the Opposition was making an issue out of a non-issue. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has condoled the demise of the 39 Indians in Mosul and has said that this announcement should have been made earlier.

Thirty-nine Indians kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq's Mosul in 2014 are dead, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

The minister told the Rajya Sabha that their bodies were spotted using deep penetration radar. The bodies were exhumed from mass graves and their identities confirmed by DNA tests, she said.

39 Indians killed in Mosul news updates Will leave no stones unturned in bringing our dead back tweets Modi

File image of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI

"The bodies were sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. The DNA of 38 Indians have been matched," she said.

All of them were construction workers, mostly from Punjab, and were employed by an Iraqi company in Mosul.

They were taken hostage by Islamic State militants when they took control of the second largest city in Iraq in 2014. The workers were trying to leave Mosul when they were held hostage.

Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh visited Iraq, days after Mosul was liberated by Iraqi forces from the rule of Islamic State.

In July 2017, after ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the issue of the 39 Indians missing in Mosul, Swaraj said that there is no evidence to substantiate the claim that they have died. "And declaring anyone dead without proof is a sin that I won't commit," she had said.

Earlier, the Punjab Congress had accused the external affairs minister of "misleading" the country on the fate of missing Indians abducted in Iraq, and asked her to provide "credible information" on the issue.

With inputs from agencies

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