India's foreign minister says the bodies have been found of 39 Indian workers who were abducted by militants in Iraq three years ago.

The abducted workers, mostly from northern India, had been employed by a construction company near Mosul when militants overran the Iraqi city and seized wide swaths of territory. Relatives said they received phone calls from some of the workers five days after Mosul was captured in 2015 saying they needed help.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday that the bodies were recently found buried in a mound of earth.

Swaraj said DNA tests confirmed that 38 of them were the kidnapped workers. The DNA test for the remaining body has yet to be fully confirmed.