UN condoles deaths of Indians in Iraq

ANI | Updated: Mar 21, 2018 02:19 IST

New Delhi [India] March 21 (ANI): The United Nations condoled the death of 39 Indian nationals abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, saying the tragedy is yet another example of barbarism and cruelty by the notorious terror outfit.

Jan Kubis, the secretary-general's special representative for Iraq extended his deepest sorrow and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and government of India.

External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday confirmed that 39 Indians, who went missing in Mosul in Iraq in the year 2014 have been killed.

Speaking at Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said that the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State had killed all the Indian nationals.

In July 2017, Swaraj had firmly said in the Parliament that she would not declare the 39 Indians dead without concrete proof or evidence.

"It is a sin to declare a person dead without concrete evidence. I will not do this sin," Swaraj said in a statement in the Lok Sabha in 2017.

Earlier, India had asked Iraq for help in locating the missing Indians after Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from the Islamic State.

The 39 persons, most of whom hailed from Punjab, were working on projects near Mosul, when they were kidnapped during their evacuation.

Led by its elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS had seized a third of Iraq's territory in 2014, before being pushed back by the security forces of a United States-led coalition.

ISIS is accused of mass killings of innocent civilians including many foreigners. (ANI)

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