New Delhi (Iraqinews.com) – The Indian minister of external affairs said on Tuesday that the 39 Indian workers who were kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul city three years ago have been recently found in Iraq.
Addressing an Indian parliamentary session, Sushma Swaraj said that the bodies were recently found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul, according to The Associated Press.
Iraqi authorities used radar to establish that the mound was a mass grave, she said, and exhumed the bodies. Indian authorities then sent DNA samples to relatives of the missing workers.
She noted that DNA tests confirmed that 38 of them were the kidnapped workers. The DNA test for the remaining body has yet to be fully confirmed.
The Indian Express reported in June 2016, quoting Kurdish officials, that there was no sign of the 39 Indian workers in Iraq.
In July last year, Swaraj firmly said that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.
Now, with the deaths confirmed, Swaraj said the Indians’ remains will be brought back to India.
The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been employed by a construction company near Mosul when militants overran the Iraqi city and seized wide swaths of territory.