New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that the 39 Indian citizens held captive by ISIS were killed in Iraq.
All the 39 Indians who were taken hostages in 2014, were killed and their bodies had been recovered.. Their mortal remains will be brought to India from Iraq on a special flight.
40 Indians had been originally held captive by ISIS in Mosul but one of them had managed to escape by posing as a Bangladeshi Muslim, Swaraj said in a statement. The remaining 39 were taken to Badoosh and killed.
Deep penetration radars were used for the search in a mound in Badoosh where locals said bodies had been buried by the ISIS. The mound indeed turned to be a mass grave that had exactly 39 bodies, with distinctive features like long hair, non-Iraqi shoes, and IDs.
The Iraqi authorities were contacted to exhume the bodies and sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. DNA testing by Martyrs Foundation has established the identity of 38 Indians while there has been 70 per cent matching of the DNA for the 39th person, she said.
Most of the 39 killed were from Punjab and were working on projects near Mosul when they were kidnapped during their evacuation.