All the 39 Indians, who were abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq nearly three years back, were killed, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today. Their bodies have been recovered.
As many as 40 Indians were originally abducted by terrorist organisation ISIS in June 2014 from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped by posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj said in a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha.
The remaining 39 Indians were taken to Badoosh and killed.
Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS. Deep penetration radars were used to establish that the mound indeed was a mass grave, she said, adding the Indian authorities requested their Iraqi counterpart to exhume the bodies.
Swaraj said the mass grave had exactly 39 bodies, with distinctive features like long hair, non-Iraqi shoes and IDs.
The bodies were then sent to Baghdad for DNA testing. DNA testing by Martyrs Foundation has established identity of 38 Indians while there has been 70 percent matching of the DNA for the 39th person, she said.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh will be flying to Iraq to bring back the bodies on a special flight.