All the 39 Indians, who were abducted by global terror outfit Islamic State (IS) in Iraq nearly four years ago, were killed and their bodies have been recovered, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.
As many as 40 Indians were abducted by IS in June 2015 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo moto statement in Rajya Sabha, the upper House of parliament, our New Delhi correspondent reports.
The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed, she added.
Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by IS. Deep penetration radars were used to establish that the mound indeed was a mass grave, Swaraj said, adding the Indian authorities requested their Iraqi counterpart to exhume the bodies.
Swaraj said the mass grave had exactly 39 bodies, with distinctive features like long hair, non-Iraqi shoes and IDs. The bodies were then sent to Baghdad for DNA testing which has established the identity of 38 Indians while there has been 70 percent matching of the DNA for the 39th person, she said.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will be flying to Iraq to bring back the bodies on a special flight.