Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said that 40 Indian workers working for a Turkish construction company near the Iraqi town of Mosul have been kidnapped.

MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin confirmed the kidnapping on Wednesday. He said the government has been unable to contact the workers.

There are about 10,000 Indians working and living in Iraq. Mr. Akbaruddin said only about 100 are in violent, insecure areas. That includes the construction workers near Mosul as well as 46 Indian nurses working in a hospital in the Iraqi town of Tikrit.

Mr. Akbaruddin said humanitarian organisations have been in touch with the nurses, who are safe and have been advised to avoid travel by road.

The spokesperson said “We have not received any call of any nature from anyone indicating about ransom or about taking Indians in custody in Iraq.”

India sent a senior diplomat to Baghdad on Wednesday.

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