The 39 Indian men kidnapped by Islamic State (Isis) from the Iraqi city of Mosul last year, reportedly are safe, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said citing close government sources in Baghdad.
Isis, which overran the second largest city of Iraq in June 2014, had taken several people, including Iraqi Shia soldiers and Indian constructions workers as captives.
While it is believed that 39 of the kidnapped Indian workers have been executed by Isis, Indian government had maintained that they were all alive.
The minister told Parliament on Wednesday that efforts are being made to secure the release of Indian hostages held by Isis. "As per the latest information from multiple third party sources, they are all safe. The government is making all efforts and taking all steps to secure their release," Singh said during the question-answer session.
Singh said that the government and the Indian Embassy in Baghdad were coordinating with senior officials stationed in Erbil in Kurdistan Autonomous Regions of Iraq, to ensure the return of the abducted Indians, PTI reported.
In June 2014, Isis had taken 40 Indian construction workers as hostages but a 24-year youth from Chandigarh - Harjit Masih was able to escape. Singh, who had received bullet injuries returned to India in May this year.
As per his account, Isis took 39 Indian workers to a hillock and shot them. His claim was also corroborated by two Bangladeshi Muslim workers, who were spared by Isis.