Revealing details about the deaths of 39 Indians killed in Mosul, Iraqi officials have confirmed they were shot in the head over a year ago.
The bodies were exhumed from a mass grave in Badush, near Mosul, by Martyrs Foundation, and DNA tests conducted by Iraq’s Department of Forensic Medicine.
The remains will be handed over to the Indian Embassy in Baghdad next week.
In June’14, 40 Indians were taken hostage by ISIS.
The group of workers were waylaid as they were being evacuated from the area as fighting between the terrorists and government forces intensified.
In 2015, Harjit Masih returned alive. He claimed that in June’14 itself, the terrorists had put them in a room and started firing, and everyone else died.
But Swaraj dismissed his claims. On March 20, the Indian government finally confirmed they are dead. Swaraj said the DNA of the hostages had matched bodies exhumed from a mass grave near Mosul.
One body was a 70% match.
“They were just skeletons. They had no muscle or tissue,” said Dr Zaid Ali Abbas, head of Iraq’s Forensic Medicine Department.
“Most had gunshot wounds on the head,” he added.
The MEA thanked Iraq for their “hard work” in establishing details about the deaths.
But Swaraj claimed it is “irrelevant” when they were killed because “the search for the bodies could not have commenced until Mosul was liberated.”
About Masih’s claims, she said it was his “individual account,” adding his version of events about his escape didn’t check out.