The developments came on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting which was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, heads of intelligence and security agencies as well as senior officials of External Affairs Ministry.
    
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the meeting reviewed the "entire dimensions" of the situation taking into consideration all facts and information available to the government.
    
"We can confirm to you that one Indian has escaped and is in touch with our embassy in Baghdad," Akbaruddin said.     

The 40 Indians, who were working in a construction project, were abducted in Mosul which was seized by Sunni militant group ISIS.
    
He said the abducted Indians are safe and noted that the government was making "every effort so that it is resolved at the earliest."
    
Asked about negotiations with the militants, the spokesperson said, "We are knocking on all doors, front doors, back doors and trapped doors."
    
Eight Indians have been evacuated from Baiji while eight others were moved out from Anbar. They have since been flown out of Baghdad.

Iraq is witnessing serious strife with Sunni militants, backed by Al-Qaida, capturing two key cities and marching towards Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced in the fighting that broke out on June 10.

Asked whether government was considering flying out Indians stranded in Iraq, the spokesperson said, "when lives of our nationals are involved no option is off the table".    

The government has decided to provide financial assistance through Indian Community Welfare Fund to those Indians in Iraq who want to return to India but are having monetary problem.
    
Instructions have also been issued to Indian missions in countries around Iraq to take up the matter with their host governments to facilitate Indians who wish to cross the land boundary from nearest place of their stay, he said.
    
"We have informed all our missions in the region to work on this matter with their respective governments to ensure that in case people want to cross land boundary they should be assisted," he said.
    
The Indian Mission has also taken up the issue of visa for Indians stuck there as the passports of some of them are with their employers.
    
He said at least 120 Indians were trapped in strife-torn areas which included 46 nurses in Tikrit and 40 kidnapped Indians. 16 have already been moved out of Anbar and Baiji.
    
Information collected by the government from multiple sources have indicated that all the kidnapped Indians are "safe".
    
"This information is coming to us not from one source but from a multiplicity of sources. Based on that, I can indicate to you that the Indian nationals who have been abducted remain safe," the MEA Spokesperson said.
    
The Indian mission in Baghdad was in touch with various other diplomatic misions there to coordinate efforts to ensure the safety of Indians.
    
Government was also in touch with the 46 nurses who are stranded in Tikrit town, which was also taken over by ISIS militants, he said.

(Agencies)

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