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40 Indians remain captives in Iraq; govt assures families

PTI 05 Nov 2014, 9:19:21 AM IST

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday met the families of 40 Indians, still held captives in Iraq, and assured them that the ‘earnest' efforts continued to secure the release of the nationals who remain ‘unharmed'.

Meeting the families for the fifth time since the Indians were taken hostage by Islamic militants ISIS in June, the minister told them that the recent contacts indicate that Indians in Iraq remain in captivity and unharmed, the official spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said.

Swaraj also responded positively to a suggestion made by families that a senior official or a political representative should be deputed to oversee the situation.

"The minister told the families that the government was not leaving any stone unturned to secure the release of these nationals. The indications, received as recently as yesterday, show that the Indians were still in captivity and unharmed," the spokesperson said.

The minister also told the families that government has no direct access to these nationals but was diligently pursuing the efforts to secure their release.

The 40 Indians were working on construction projects near the Iraqi city of Mosul.