TBILISI, DFWatch–A United Nations spokesperson said Friday that 16 Georgians had been captured by Islamist insurgents in Iraq. Georgian authorities would not confirm the report.
It was first reported by Reuters that insurgents in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had kidnapped 16 Georgians in northern Iraq after they rushed through the swathes of areas with mostly Sunni-inhabited territory and stunningly captured two major cities on their way.
Rueters’ report was based on information from UN Human Rights spokesperson, Rupert Colville.
The 16 Georgians are employees of Iraqi Telecommunications Company in Mosul. National Iraqi News Agency writes that the kidnapped Georgians were freed and sent to Baghdad.
But Georgia’s Foreign Ministry would Friday evening not confirm that Georgians had been captured.
Giorgi Tabatadze,director of Georgia’s Foreign Ministry’s consular department, says the report about the kidnapping 16 Georgians in Iraq is not confirmed.
He said the ministry is negotiating with the iraqi government about returning Georgian citizens. Right now details are being worked out.
Tabatadze continued saying that the Georgians do not have visas and the Georgian consulate is involved in helping them get back to their home country.
No-one has been detained, but the five of them are in the emigration service in order to work out details about their cases, Tabatadze said.
According to Colville, there may be hundreds of victims of the clashes between militants and government forces in Iraq after the city Mosul was captured.
Two days ago, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned its citizens to abstain from travelling to Iraq and those who are already in Iraq to be very careful and avoid conflict areas.
The Ministry has also published a hotline number, +962 797299799, to which Georgian citizens in Iraq can call and get in contact with the Georgian embassy in Jordan if they need any help, as the embassy in Jordan is also accredited for Iraq.
Insurgents from ISIS, an al-Qaeda offshoot, that is regarded as even more aggressive and brutal terrorist organization than al-Qaeda itself, killed dozens of civil servants captured in northern Iraq.
UN Human Rights office said that the killings included the execution of 17 civilians working for the police and a court employee in central Mosul.
Four women had killed themselves after being raped.
Georgian citizen, former army servicemen Tarkhan Batirashvili is a military commander of ISIS in Syria. His nom de guerre is Abu Omar al-Shishani. He is an ethnic Kist, from a village of Birkiani, Pankisi Gorge of eastern Georgia. Kists are ethnic Chechens who live in Georgia.