Missing Indian workers in Iraq 'located' but not recovered

19 June 2014

The Iraq government today said it has identified the location of 40 Indians kidnapped near the city of Mosul, now virtually captured by ISIS militants.

A statement from Iraq's foreign ministry did not make it clear whether the Indian workers, mostly youngsters from Punjab, are being held by the Sunni insurgent group ISIS or some other group.

"The Iraqi foreign ministry has told us they have been able to determine where the Indians are held captive," Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, adding that workers of other nationalities were also held captive alongside.

Asked whether the hostages were safe, Akbaruddin said, "There is no safety in captivity. Safety is in places where people are welcome. As regards their location, we have an understanding but given that the matter is under way, we won't be able to share the location or what the Iraqis have shared."

Almost all the Indians worked for the Baghdad-based construction company Tariq Noor al-Huda.

About 100 Indian workers are trapped in areas overrun by the Al Qaeda-inspired insurgent group ISIS, including Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

India has sent a senior diplomat to help in repatriation efforts, Akbaruddin said.

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