NEW DELHI, June 18 (UPI) -- Forty Indian nationals, employed as construction workers near the overrun city of Mosul, Iraq, were abducted and are missing, an official said.
Although the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took control of the city last week and are suspected in the abduction, no claim of responsibility or other acknowledgement has been received by the Indian government, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
"We have not received a call of any nature, asking for ransom or confirming that they have taken the workers under their control," he said.
The workers were employed by Tariq Noor Al Huda, a construction company based in Baghdad. The International Red Crescent humanitarian organization confirmed the kidnapping but offered no other information.
Akbaruddin added India "will not spare any efforts to help the Indians in Iraq," of whom there are about 100,000 -- many employed in oil fields and on construction sites.
On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry recommended Indian nationals "to avoid all travel to Iraq until further notification."