The Indian government has said the laborers who were abducted almost six months ago by ISIL Takfiri militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul are still alive.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament on Friday that efforts are still going on to find the missing workers, even though one of them who escaped claimed the others had been killed.
She went on to say that claims made by the escapee referring to ISIL having killed the others have yet to be corroborated.
“He is now in the protective custody of the Indian government,” Swaraj said of the Indian man, without offering other details.
She added that information gathered from friendly governments and organizations working in Iraq suggests that the laborers are still alive.
Thirty-nine laborers, who were working for a Turkish construction company, were taken by ISIL in June in the northern city of Mosul.
Some 10,000 Indian nationals live and work in Iraq, only a small number of which reside in insecure violent areas.
The ISIL terrorists launched an offensive in June and took control of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, before sweeping through much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.