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17 July 2017, 04:19 | Erica Roy
In her first briefing after the liberation of Mosul from the IS, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday informed the family members of the missing nationals, that the latest information was provided by a high-level official of Iraq and more information about them would be known when her Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim Al Jaafari, visits India on July 24. Iraqi forces liberated Mosul on last Sunday after 266 days of fierce battles, bringing to an end three years of IS rule.
"Sources there told V K Singh that the missing Indians are most probably in a jail in Badush where the fighting is still going on", she added.
This comes days after the ministry of external affairs on said that the Centre was leaving no stone unturned in finding and saving 39 Indian in Mosul. In a PTI report, Baglay had said that the Ambassador of India to Iraq and the Consul General in Erbil have been instructed to continue the efforts to locate the Indian nationals on priority.
With tears in his eyes, Raj Kumar, father of Dharminder, who was one of the 40 youths abducted by the militants, told that having no means to earn the live hood, they had sent Dharminder to Iraq ten months ago after taking a loan of Rs.1.70 lakh by mortgaging their house. But as the city was liberated from ISIS control by the Iraqi forces, the abducted Indians could not be found. She also said that she had talked to all foreign ministers of all countries in the region who could help in tracing the abducted Indians.
"East Mosul has been completely freed from ISIS and now buildings are being sanitised and authorities are not allowing civilians to go there as there may be bombs and other explosives", she said.
The Union minister said that fighting was still going on in West Mosul and further developments would be reported so as soon as the area was cleared. "That very day I told VK Singh to go to Iraq and try to evacuate our people", the minister added.
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