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Fifth group of MKO members are relocated inside Iraq

Source: Tehran Times

The Iraqi government evacuated the fifth batch of 416 members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from Camp New Iraq, said the governor of Khales, a city in northeast of Baghdad.

The MKO members, of which 350 were women, have been moved to Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base near the Baghdad International Airport.

It had been decided that 3200 MKO members living in the Camp New Iraq be relocated in eight groups, each consisting of 400 members.

So far, about 2000 MKO members have been moved from Camp New Iraq to Camp Liberty.

The relocation of the group is part of an agreement reached between the United Nations and the Iraqi government in last December.

The MKO started its activities as a terrorist group based in Iraq in the early 1980s. In addition to the assassination of hundreds of Iranian officials and citizens, the group cooperated with Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in its repression of the Iraqi people.

The MKO had fought as a mechanized division in alliance with Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. But it was disarmed and left stranded after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled the brutal dictator.

The U.S. government characterized the MKO as a cult and designated it a terrorist group in 1997, holding it responsible for the assassinations of three U.S. Army officers and three civilian contractors before the Islamic Revolution (in 1979).

The MKO has mounted a major campaign in the U.S. and Europe and enlisted many top national security figures from mostly Republican administrations as well as a number of prominent Democratic politicians to get its terrorist designation lifted.

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