Iraq not sure of fate of 39 Indians

Sushma Swaraj to hold talks with Iraqi counterpart on Indians abducted by IS

"We are not sure whether they are alive or not, we don't know. We are making serious efforts to find out more in this issue", said Mr Al-Jaafari.

The fate of these Indians is set to come up during bilateral talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari today. We are equally concerned.

After his return, Ms Swaraj had reportedly told the families of the abducted Indians that they could be in Badush jail.

Family members of the other missing persons said that from the Iraqi minister's statement, it was clear that the Indian government does have any concrete information about the missing.

The visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jafri has said that Iraqi government does not have any information about the missing 39 Indian workers in Mosul. The foreign minister said that Iraq was working on the assumption that they were still alive and that the Iraqi government was doing all it could to trace them.

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The group of Indian labourers, mostly from Punjab, was taken hostage by ISIS when it overran Iraq's second largest city Mosul in 2014.

"But the minister clearly said he did not have any information about them", Davinder added. Nearly immediately, however, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced that there was no proof of the deaths, and that the government's search for the abducted Indians would go on.

However, a media report from Badush on Friday said the jail is now an abandoned structure and has been unoccupied for weeks. Our robust bilateral trade amounted to almost US$ 13 billion in 2016-17. He is also scheduled to meet Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Iraq has been one of the major suppliers of crude oil to India.

Although, the main agenda t to hold a discussion will focus on the 39 Indians kidnapped by the Islamic State from Iraq's Mosul three years back.

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