40 Indian construction workers in Mosul city have been abducted by Sunni militants, while 46 Indian nurses have been trapped in Tikrit, in the internal-war torn Iraq.
While the Indian government is making efforts for safe evacuation of its citizens from Iraq, Sunni militants of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) captured Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province, on Tuesday. Baquba is 60 km away from Iraq's capital city of Baghdad.
The 40 construction workers from India were working on construction projects near Mosul. Indian mission officials in Baghdad have stepped up efforts to trace the 40 missing construction workers, who were abducted while they were being evacuated from Mosul.
The Indian mission in Iraq is trying to evacuate the workers from the northern parts of Iraq. However, the rescue teams have lost contact with the 40 Indian construction workers. There are about 120 Indian construction workers in Mosul area, which has now been taken over by the militants, the Indian officials said.
In addition to the Indian nationals, there are workers from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal working in the strife affected areas of Iraq.
Meanwhile, the 46 Indian nurses in a Tikrit hospital are still under house arrest due to the prevailing situation, say TV reports.
The Indian government has called on the Iraqi ambassador in Delhi and discussed ways to rescue the Indians stranded in the militants-held cities of Iraq-Mosul and Tikrit. The Indian government also held a meeting for crisis management.
India's Union External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday evening announced a 24-hour control room to provide information about missing Indians in the trouble-torn Iraq. The Indian government stated that Indian embassy in Baghdad also has a 24-hour helpline.
The Union External Affairs Ministry control room numbers are: +91 11 2301 2113, +91 11 2301 7905, +91 11 2301 4104; Fax: +91 11 2301 8158; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The telephone numbers of Indian embassy in Baghdad are: +964 770 444 4899 (Mobile) +964 770 484 3247 (Mobile).