The mortal remains of 38 Indians who were killed in Iraq have been brought back home in a special flight, officials said on Monday.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with Union Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh onboard landed in Amritsar at around 2 pm as most of the deceased were from Punjab, officials said.
After handing over the 27 bodies to their families, the remaining from Bihar and West Bengal will be flown in a different aircraft to Patna first, followed by Kolkata.
The union minister had left for Mosul on Sunday afternoon.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had informed Parliament on March 20 that all 39 Indian construction workers kidnapped in 2014 from Mosul have been killed.
The Minister had earlier said that she will not consider them dead unless there was proof in this regard, rejecting lone survivor Harjit Masih’s claim that the 39 Indians taken captive by the Islamic State were shot dead.
The Minister had said that the DNA samples collected from the missing Indians’ relatives matched with 38 bodies, while the identity of the 39th body was yet to be fully confirmed since the DNA sample sent was from someone else in his family as both his parents are dead.