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UPDATED: Iraq hands over bodies of 38 Indian workers to embassy

The remains of 38 Indian construction workers captured and killed by the Islamic State group in northern Iraq were handed over to Indian authorities in Baghdad to be flown home later Sunday. AP


Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – The Iraqi Health Ministry said on Sunday that it handed over bodies of 38 Indian workers, who were killed by Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul, to the Indian Embassy in Iraq to be flown home later Sunday, according to Sputnik News.

Indian Ambassador to Iraq Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit said the bodies had been taken to Baghdad International Airport and would be flown back on a military flight, arriving in India on Monday.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had arrived here earlier in the day to bring back home remains of the 38 Indian workers, who were found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul, on March 20.

“I am going to Mosul to get mortal remains of 38 Indians,” XNews TV channel quoted Singh as saying, adding that the body of another dead worker will not be reclaimed now as “his case is pending.”

Singh stressed that the Indian government will hand over “coffins (of slain workers) to the family members with evidence so that they have no doubts about it.” He also offered condolences to the families of the deceased.

The Indian Express reported in June 2016, quoting Kurdish officials, that there was no sign of the 39 Indian workers in Iraq.

Last year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj firmly said that she would not declare the 39 Indian workers, who were kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul city three years ago, dead without concrete proof or evidence.

The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul, on March 20.

They were employed by a construction company near Mosul when militants overran the Iraqi city and seized wide swaths of territory in 2014.


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