Iran exile camp in Iraq attacked

2013-02-10 22:18
Members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq organization chant slogans and hold banners during a tour organized by the Iraqi government for foreign diplomats in Baghdad, Iraq. (Hadi Mizban, AP/File)

Members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq organization chant slogans and hold banners during a tour organized by the Iraqi government for foreign diplomats in Baghdad, Iraq. (Hadi Mizban, AP/File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Baghdad - Assailants fired dozens of mortars and rockets Saturday at an Iranian exiles camp in Iraq in an attack that killed five people, the first violent deaths since they resettled near Baghdad last year.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the assault on Camp Liberty, a former US military base on the outskirts of the capital housing about 3 000 members of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, or the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).

The United Nations mission in Iraq called for an immediate probe and said monitors were following up on the deaths, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees condemned what he called a "despicable act of violence".

The US State Department labelled the assault a "vicious and senseless terrorist attack," and called on Iraq to probe the attack and enhance security at the camp.

Five members of the People's Mujahedeen were killed by the mortar rounds and rockets, according to two Iraqi security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The attack also wounded at least 40 members of the group and three Iraqi policemen, they said.

The US State Department put the toll at six dead and dozens injured.

The MEK, whose leadership is based in Paris, said in a statement that six people were killed and more than 100 wounded.

The mortar fire struck Camp Liberty, where residents from the MEK were moved last year, on Iraq's insistence, from their historic paramilitary camp of the 1980s - Camp Ashraf, near the Iranian border.

Independent monitors

One Iraqi security official said about 40 rockets and mortar rounds were fired into the camp, and the MEK gave a similar figure.

The United Nations said its special envoy Martin Kobler had asked Iraqi authorities to "promptly conduct an investigation into this," adding: "We have our monitors on the ground to follow up."

Eliana Nabaa, spokesperson for the UN mission, said Iraqi officials had told the United Nations that "all those who were injured were hospitalised immediately".

Camp Ashraf was the base that now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein allowed the group to establish in Diyala province in the 1980s, during Iraq's eight-year war with Iran.

The residents are in the process of being resettled, and a US official said in October that the United States and several European countries had agreed to take them in.

The MEK was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran, and after the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted him it took up arms against Iran's clerical rulers.

It says it has now laid down its arms and is working to overthrow the Islamic regime in Tehran by peaceful means.

Britain struck the group off its terror list in June 2008, followed by the European Union in 2009 and the United States in September 2012.

Not forgotten

The US State Department holds the group responsible, however, for the deaths of Iranians as well as US soldiers and civilians from the 1970s to 2001, and in its note about delisting the MEK it stressed that it had not forgotten the group's militant past.

A senior US official also said at the time that Washington does "not see the MEK as a viable opposition".

In Washington on Saturday, at a convention of pro-democracy Iranian-Americans, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani called on the United States to take in the camp residents.

"These people can all be removed within hours," said Giuliani. "Planes can be sent immediately. They can be here within a day. We have done far more difficult things than that. It's only about 3 000 people."

Another guest speaker at the convention, former national security advisor General James Jones, said: "Camp Liberty has a name that is not worthy of a prison, which it has become.

"It is the responsibility of all countries of goodwill to ensure that the victimisation of the Ashraf refugees is not perpetrated and that this debacle comes to a swift and just conclusion."

Read more on:    us  |  iran  |  iraq
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Violet the puppy loves playing Cat Fishing 2 on the iPad!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
This lock means keys are something of the past!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

As the Moon moves out of restless Gemini into sensitive Cancer today you are able to relax your active mind and be more receptive...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.