Three Indian pilgrims killed in Iraq, says Govt
New Delhi, Sept 2: Three Indian pilgrims were gunned down by unidentified men in Iraq while they were on their way to Karbala, the place of martyrdom of Imaam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohaammed, a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said today.
All the three were from Andhra Pradesh and were identified as Mohi-ud-din Baig and Mohammed Ahmed Ali, both from Hyderabad, and Jaffer Mashaddi from Visakhapatanam.
Alongwith the three Indians, eight Pakistani nationals were also shot dead by the gunmen while they were on their way to the Shi'ite Muslim Site.
The official said the Indian and Paksistani pilgrims who were part of a group of about 40 people, were kidnapped on August 31 when they were on their way to Baghdad from Damascus.
Confirming the killings, Minister of State for External Affaisrs E Ahamed described the incident as ''unfortunate'' and regretted that people continued to go to Iraq despite the travel advisory issued by the goevernment in 2004 after the kidnapping of three Indian truck drivers there.
Thousands of Shia Muslims from India visit the holy sites of Karbala and Najaf every year.