40 Indian workers kidnapped in Iraq

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India said Wednesday that 40 Indians working for a Turkish construction company have been abducted from violence-hit Iraq.

The external affairs ministry did not say who had seized the workers although earlier media reports blamed it on the Sunni insurgents who have seized key cities in Iraq.

A ministry spokesman said the workers mostly belonged to the country’s northern states such as Punjab and worked for Tariq Noor al Huda company.

He said no ransom call had been received and the Iraq Red Crescent had “indicated to us that they were kidnapped”. He said their current location was not known.

“The Red Crescent confirmed to us that as per their information, 40 Indian construction workers have been kidnapped,” Akbaruddin told a media briefing.

Akbaruddin said about 100 Indian workers were living in areas overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and India was in contact with many of them, including 46 nurses. It has sent a senior envoy to Baghdad to support repatriation efforts.