The Indian government said on November 28 it believes 39 Indian workers abducted by the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Iraq in June are still alive despite claims that they had been killed.
There was no evidence the workers abducted in Mosul were dead, and government efforts are continuing to locate them, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament.
In a television interview broadcast on November 27, an Indian man -- claiming he had escaped from the group -- said the other captives had been taken to a forest and shot.
Swaraj dismissed the claim, adding that "there are contradictions in his version."
Swaraj said the government was not in direct contact with the abducted Indians and didn't have information about their whereabouts.
Some 10,000 Indians live and work in Iraq. Many of those employed in volatile areas were evacuated by the government in recent months.