New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Three Indian men, all from Andhra Pradesh, have been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Iraq, Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed said Saturday.
Ahamed told IANS that the three Indians, according to information provided to him by Indian diplomats, were Jaffer Mashaddi from Visakhapatanam and Mohuiddin Beig and Mohammed Ahamed Ali, both from Hyderabad.
The three were kidnapped from Rutba on their way to Karbala, about 100 km southwest of Baghdad, on the night of Aug 31 when they were on their way to Baghdad from Damascus, the Syrian capital, the minister said.
The bodies were recovered from Rutba, a small town in Iraq's western province of Al Anbar.
The slain Indians and Pakistanis were part of a 40-strong group that included several women. The gunmen picked out only the men, who turned out to be Indians and Pakistanis.
'Their bodies have been found. The Indians were kidnapped along with eight Pakistanis,' Ahamed said.
The minister said the wives of two of the Indians and the mother-in-law of the third Indian were with the slain men when they were seized.
'The family members got permission to take the bodies to Karbala for burial,' Ahamed said.