The United Nations says it is temporarily suspending convoys of Iraqi refugees returning home from Iran because of unrest in southern Iraq. A UN spokesman in Geneva said today the decision came after security incidents Monday in southern Iraq prevented a group of refugees from reaching their homes.
A convoy of more than 200 Iraqis had been set to return today to the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
But UN spokesman Peter Kessler said the group will remain encamped just inside the Iranian border until security in southern Iraq improves and transportation links in the region are stabilized.
Armed supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr mounted demonstrations and triggered violence this week in Basra and other Iraqi cities against US post-war plans for Iraq.
The UN agency estimates that 10,000 refugees have voluntarily return to Iraq since last July from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
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