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Not 100% Sure Whether 39 Indians Dead Or Alive, Iraqi Foreign Minister

Not 100% Sure Whether 39 Indians Dead Or Alive, Iraqi Foreign Minister

Earlier in the day, following a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, al-Jafaari said: "I am not 100 per cent sure if the 39 Indians missing in Mosul are alive".

"We want external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to clarify the exact position and tell us what the government is planning to do now on this issue", she said.

"We are not sure whether they are alive or not, we don't know".

In a meeting with the relatives of the abducted Indians last week, Swaraj had said they might be languishing in a jail in Badush in northwest of Mosul where fighting was going on.

Singh was earlier sent to Erbil in Iraq to pursue the case of the missing Indians. "Daesh (IS) is known to transfer people from one place to another and it's possible that an Iraqi government source conveyed that information but no one knows if that was the final destination", said Al Jafari.

Search for the 39 missing Indian labourers who were kidnapped in Mosul three years ago is expected to gather momentum with the visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who arrives here on Monday on a five-day visit.

However, a media report from Badush on Friday said the jail is now an abandoned structure and has been unoccupied for weeks.

"But the minister clearly said he did not have any information about them", Davinder added.

The volume of bilateral trade in 2016-17 was almost United States dollars 13 billion. Apart from Sushma Swaraj, al-Jaafari met Vice President Hamid Ansari and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

Thousands of Indians visit Iraq annually for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala.

Dejected by the Iraqi government's disclosure that it has "no substantial information" on 39 Indians taken hostage by the Islamic State in Mosul, family members of the missing workers from Punjab on Monday sought a clarification on the issue from the Centre.

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