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Eyewitness claims 39 Indians killed by ISIL: Report
November 28, 2014, 8:15 am

 Iraqi soldiers prepare to fight against Islamic State militants in the city of Dhuluiya, some 90 km north of Baghdad on Nov. 6, 2014 [Xinhua]

Iraqi soldiers prepare to fight against Islamic State militants in the city of Dhuluiya, some 90 km north of Baghdad on Nov. 6, 2014 [Xinhua]

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told the country’s lawmakers on Friday that the New Delhi government has no concrete proof of either the safety or killing of the 39 Indians kidnapped in Iraq in June. The Minister was reacting to Indian news reports that said the workers were killed. With relatives of the missing workers demanding swift action, this could be the first serious foreign policy crisis for the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The government is not in direct contact with kidnapped Indians; no solid proof if they are alive or not,” said Swaraj in the upper house of the Indian Parliament on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Indian TV channel ABP News quoted an eyewitness account as confirming the murder of these Indian workers.

The 40 Indian workers who were held hostage worked for Baghdad-based construction company Tariq Noor Al Huda and were abducted in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul after it fell to Sunni Muslim rebels in June.

One of the workers, Harjeet, who escaped from the clutches of the militants claimed he was witness to the killings, according to the report.

Two workers from Bangladesh who claimed to have spoken to the only survivor were also quoted in the report.

ISIL still holds large areas of Iraq, including the key cities of Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah even as the Iraqi government has said that it will triple its defence budget in an effort to defeat the group.

Even as the US Central Command has said the US and its allies have staged scores of air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq this month, Russia has insisted that major impact in the fight against the group would come from straining financial support for the group.

The ISIL has become the most affluent terrorist organization ever, with financial support from outside and by amassing wealth through drug trafficking and oil proceeds from the sites it has seized, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said last week.

Earlier last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin had raised questions about the financing of ISIL.

“Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?” asked Putin.

“The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries,” said the Russian President.

ISIL, an alternate acronym of the group Islamic State, has seized vast swaths of territory in northern Iraq since June and announced the establishment of a caliphate in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq.




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