NEW DELHI, July 3 (UPI) -- Forty-six nurses, all Indian nationals, trapped by fighting in Tikrit, Iraq, have been moved to an undisclosed location, an Indian government spokesman said Thursday.
The nurses are "on (the) road," an Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said. He added there is no "free will in a zone of conflict," implying the nurses are being moved under the direction of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Sunni militant group that overtook Tikrit several days ago.
The spokesman said humanitarian groups were not able to contact the nurses, and the Iraqi government has no control over the city. The Indian government therefore recommended the nurses "proceed" and accept the orders of their captors. The nurses are employed by a Tikrit hospital, and suffered only minor injuries by broken glass as they were moved.
"It is not a situation of our choice. It is a difficult situation. Our embassy continues to be in touch even as they are moving to another location," he said.
The Indian newspaper Economic Times identified the nurses' captors as ISIS.
Another group from India trapped in Iraq, comprised of 39 construction workers, remains detained by an unidentified militant group.