ANKARA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that 49 staff and family members kidnapped in the Turkish consulate general in northern Iraqi city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh province, are safe, the daily Sabah reported on its website.
The rescue efforts are continuing to release the kidnapped, who were taken hostage by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) after they captured Mosul and raided the Turkish consulate building on Wednesday, said Davutoglu.
They are now in a safe condition, said the minister, adding that the most important thing now was to ensure the safe return of the kidnapped.
A group of ISIL armed attackers took control of the consulate on Wednesday, and abducted 49 staff and family members, including the consul-general, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in its statement.
Meanwhile, 31 Turkish nationals were also taken hostage by the same militant group in a power plant in the Gyarah region of Mosul, said the statement, adding that rescue efforts are currently underway.
The ISIL, commonly known as al-Qaida in Iraq, seized Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and Tikrit, another provincial capital, respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday in its renewed clashes with government forces.
The continued bloody clashes between the insurgents and government security forces have shown that the country's security situation is further worsening.