06/19/2014, 00.00
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40 Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul

No demands for ransom, nor claim of responsibility. The area is controlled by Sunni militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In Tikrit 46 nurses are trapped and cannot be evacuate because the roads are not suitable for any movement at present.

Mosul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - While Iraqi forces continue to battle the militants of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the rampage arrived in India. Around 40 Indians were kidnapped in Iraqi city of Mosul, when they were being evacuated from the area ravaged by the war between the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and Sunni jihadist. The Indian government has been in touch with Iraqi authorities and has also dispatched former ambassador Suresh Reddy to Mosul.

The abducted Indians were working at projects near the city for the Tariq Noor Al Huda construction company. No demands for ransom had been made and the workers' whereabouts were not known. It is not clear if the abductors are from ISIS or any other specific group.

Meanwhile families of 40 abducted say they have spoken with the men yesterday. "He said he and his co-workers were all safe and not held hostage. The militants say they will release them if someone responsible from the Indian military or government comes to collect them" Charanjit Singh told to The Hindu newspaper.

About 10,000 Indian nationals are currently in Iraq with some 100 caught in violence-hit areas, among which 46 nurses stranded in violence-hit Tikrit. Following a request by the Indian government, a team of International Red Crescent contacted them, reporting the women are fine.

However, the roads are not suitable for any movement at present, so they cannot be evacuate.

Recently the government asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the "precarious" security situation.



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