Remains of 38 Indians killed in Iraq flown home
April 02 2018 01:41 PM
India
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh (centre) accompanied the remains of 38 Indians.

DPA/New Delhi

The remains of 38 Indian workers who were killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq four years ago have been brought home in a special aircraft.
The flight carrying the coffins landed on Monday in the north-western city of Amritsar, in the state of Punjab.
The bodies were identified via DNA samples by Iraqi authorities, said Junior External Affairs Minister VK Singh, who accompanied the remains.
The administration arranged ambulances for handing over the coffins to the families, most of whom are located in Punjab.
Thirty-nine construction workers were abducted and killed by Islamic State in Mosul shortly after the radical militant group seized the northern Iraqi city in 2014.
Their bodies were found in Mosul in a mass grave, and were among many unearthed in the region after Iraqi forces retook the city from Islamic State last year.
The remains of another person were still in the process of being identified, officials said.
Following the DNA tests on the exhumed bodies, the Indian government on March 20 officially confirmed the deaths.
But it faced flak over the delay in confirming the killings which have long been reported in the Indian media, as the opposition alleged the government had misled families of the victims.
"We are thankful to the Iraqi authorities for the help in locating the victims and exhuming the mortal remains. The Indian government left no stone unturned to find the missing Indians," Singh told reporters.
Most of the 10,000 Indians living and working in Iraq fled the Middle Eastern country during the upsurge in violence in 2014.



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