(English) Nepalis among 48 foreigners freed by Iraqi militants

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KATHMANDU, Nepal–Four dozens foreigners including Nepalis who were made hostage by Iraqi militants have been made release. Though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu earlier refuted the claim that Nepali national were among the hostages, news agencies reported that there were Nepalis among 48 foreigners who were released by militants after holding them hostage for several days. However, the number and identification of Nepalis who were freed after abduction are yet to ascertain.

The construction workers, who were helping build a hospital in the conflict hit city of Tikrit, are from Turkey, Nepal, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

“The workers were kidnapped near the Hamreen Mountains four days ago, and were handed over near a checkpoint between Tikrit and Kirkuk,” AFP quoted an Iraqi military official as saying. The report further added that the released foreigners have been brought to Kirkuk, another conflict-hit city.

Meanwhile, the Nepal government has asked the Nepali nationals to stay safe in Iraq and initiate steps to return home shortly, before the security situation deteriorates.

Calling a sudden press-meet, the Foreign Ministry also asked all Nepalis planning to visit the war-ravaged country to cancel their trip until further notice.

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