“We have been informed by the Iraqi government that the position of all the 40 Indian nationals have been located,” MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here on Thursday.

He also confirmed that no ransom demands have been received by the authorities yet.

The Ministry of External Affairs has said that the government is giving top most importance to ensure safe evacuation of Indians struck in the foreign soil.

“External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has spoken to the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Kerala over the stranded Indians in Iraq,” the MEA said.

Earlier in the day, the External Affairs Minister said that the government is making all efforts to ensure safe release of the abducted workers.

“I am personally supervising efforts. I will leave no stone unturned to ensure rescue of our citizens,” Swaraj said.

The anxious family members of about eight persons stuck up in Iraq are expected to meet Swaraj this afternoon.

The workers, mostly from Punjab and other parts of northern India, were working on a construction project in Mosul in northern Iraq which has been captured by Sunni militant group ISIL. Reports said that the kidnapping took place while they were being evacuated on Wednesday.

Iraq is witnessing serious strife with militants, backed by Al-Qaida, capturing various cities and marching towards Baghdad.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal earlier on Wednesday met the External Affairs Minister and said his state is ready to bear all expenses for the safe return of Punjabis kidnapped in strife-torn Iraq.

The Punjab government has issued phone numbers 0172-2740397 and 0172-2740035 for information on those stuck in Iraq.


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