India says 39 workers abducted in Iraq in 2015 dead

An Iraqi boy stands at the entrance of a destroyed building in the old city of Mosul on March 14, 2018, eight months after the Iraqi government forces retook the city from the control of Daesh. (AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye)
Updated 21 March 2018
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India says 39 workers abducted in Iraq in 2015 dead

NEW DELHI: Iraqi authorities have found the bodies of 39 Indian workers who were abducted by militants from the Mosul area three years ago, India’s foreign minister said Tuesday.
The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been employed by a construction company near Mosul when militants overran the Iraqi city and seized wide swaths of territory. Relatives said they received phone calls from some of the workers five days after Mosul was captured in 2015 saying they needed help.
Around 10,000 Indians worked and lived in Iraq at that time
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday that the bodies were recently found buried in a mound of earth near Badush, a village northwest of Mosul that Iraqi forces had taken back from the Daesh group last July.
Search operations led to a mound in Badush where local residents said bodies had been buried by the Daesh group, Swaraj said.
Iraqi authorities used radar to establish that the mound was a mass grave, she said, and exhumed the bodies. Indian authorities then sent DNA samples of relatives of the missing workers.
Swaraj said Iraqi authorities informed the Indian government on Monday that DNA tests confirmed that 38 of them were the kidnapped workers. The DNA test for the remaining body has yet to be fully confirmed.


OIC condemns Israel’s nation-state law as racist and illegal

Updated 22 min 40 sec ago
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OIC condemns Israel’s nation-state law as racist and illegal

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the Israeli Knesset’s approval of the “Jewish nation-state” law, which declares that only Jews have the right to self-determination in the country.
The OIC labeled the move as a blatant challenge to the will of the international community, its laws and its legitimate resolutions.
The Secretary-General of the Organization, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, described the law as racist, unlawful and illegitimate.
“It ignores the historical rights of the Palestinians, both Muslim and Christian, and represents an extension to the Israeli settlement ideology and occupation policies, based on ethnic cleansing and denial of the existence of Palestinian people and history, highlighted by International resolutions,” he said.
He called on the international community to reject and condemn the racist law and to confront all Israeli racist laws and policies that aim to undermine any possible solution to the conflict.