The minister told Rajya Sabha – the upper house of parliament – the government had received confirmation on Monday that the DNA of 38 bodies found in a mass grave had been definitively identified as matching the missing Indians.
The 39th body exhumed from the grave had only a 70 percent DNA match, the minister said.
The grave was found after Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters were driven out of the Iraqi city.
For past 4 yrs EAM was telling me that they were alive,don't know what to believe anymore.I am waiting to speak with her,no information was given to us,we heard her statement she made in Parliament: Gurpinder Kaur, sister of Manjinder Singh who was among 39 Indians killed in Iraq pic.twitter.com/fwNqRoRPUG
— ANI (@ANI) March 20, 2018
“I have concrete proof that 39 Indians have been killed,” Swaraj said about the Indians who were abducted by ISIL in 2014. “We wanted to give the families closure,” she said.
The physical remains of the Indians will be repatriated by the government in a special aircraft, the minister told parliament.
One of the workers was able to escape ISIL custody, the minister said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared “total victory” over ISIL in July last year after nearly three years of war backed by the US-led coalition.