The location of the 40 Indian construction workers kidnapped in Mosul town of strife-torn Iraq has been identified by Iraqi authorities, the government said on Thursday. Asserting that it was doing everything possible to secure release of the kidnapped Indians, the government said Indian embassy in Baghdad was "persistently" following the matter with Iraqi authorities.
"We have been informed by the Iraqi foreign ministry that they have been able to determine the location of where these abducted Indian nationals are being held captive with workers of a few other nationalities," External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
Asked about location of the kidnapped Indians, he refused to share information. "At this stage I will not be able to share information on either location of that place or what the Iraqi authorities had shared with us." On whether they were safe he said, "There is no safety in captivity."
The workers, mostly from Punjab and other parts of northern India, were working on a construction project in Mosul in northern Iraq which has been captured by Sunni militant group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
Akbaruddin said the Iraqi government has also confirmed kidnapping of the Indians. The initial information was based on inputs by Iraqi Red Crescent. As concerns mounted about safety of the kidnapped Indians and 46 other nurses stranded Tikrit, another town captured by Sunni militants, the crisis management group met twice. The meetings were chaired by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Secretary east in charge of Gulf region Anil Wadhwa also had two conversations with Iraqi ambassador Ahmad Tahsin Ahmad Berwari, said Akbaruddin.