V K Singh To Bring Back Bodies Of 39 Indians

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New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh will visit Iraq on April 1 to bring home the bodies of 39 Indians who were killed in the country following their abduction by the Islamic State, according to news agency ANI.

Parliament was earlier informed that the bodies would be brought to India within a week’s time. For now, Singh will bring back 38 sets of remains. The DNA match in the 39th case is not yet conclusive, and may take a few more weeks, Iraqi officials associated with the process said. An official in the Iraqi Justice Ministry said the two countries may have to sign a legal agreement for the transfer.

A week ago, MEA Sushma Swaraj informed Parliament that all 39 Indians abducted by ISIS in 2015 had been killed and their bodies recovered from a mass grave in Badoosh. The families of some of the dead met the minister in New Delhi and were told that the bodies would be brought home at the earliest.

As many as 40 Indians were abducted by the ISIS terror group from Mosul in Iraq but one of them escaped posing as a Muslim from Bangladesh, Swaraj had said in Rajya Sabha. Search operations led to a mound in Badoosh where locals said some bodies were buried by the ISIS.

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