Ahead of Iraq visit, V. K. Singh expresses hope to trace 39 Indian hostages

| Updated: Jul 11, 2017 07:42 IST

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): Before leaving for Iraq to trace 39 Indians held captive by terror group ISIS in Mosul since 2014, Minister of State for External Affairs V. K. Singh has expressed hope to bring the Indian hostage safely back to the country. "After the declaration that Mosul has been liberated the Ministry of External Affairs decided that we must send our people to find out 39 Indians, who are held captive by ISIS. We are hopeful that we will be able to find them. In last two years, we haven't have a negative input so far," Singh told ANI. Singh left for Erbil, Iraq on Monday to locate and bring back the 39 Indians reportedly kept in Mosul as hostages of the ISIS. "As soon as the announcement of liberation of Mosul was made by the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, the government has activated various channels for locating those Indians. Iraqi authorities have conveyed that all cooperation would be extended in this regard and instructions have been issued by them to all relevant Iraqi agencies for the same," an official spokesperson said. The Ambassador of India to Iraq and the Consulate General in Erbil were also instructed to continue the efforts to locate the 39 trapped Indians on priority. The 39 Indians, mostly from Punjab, had been held hostage by the fighters aligned to the ISIS in Mosul since 2014. The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier on Friday said that 39 Indians are alive. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also assured Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who had sought her intervention, that the ministry was making possible efforts to locate the Indians. (ANI)

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