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Iraq To Relocate Iranian Exiles From Camp Ashraf


Source: RFE/RL

The United Nations says Iraqi authorities are planning to relocate dozens of Iranian exiles from a camp where 52 residents were killed last week. The UN office in Baghdad said on September 7 that the authorities will transfer the remaining residents of Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq to another facility in the Baghdad area.

Camp Ashraf, Iraq

Camp Ashraf houses members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), an Iranian exile group opposed to the Iranian government that Baghdad says is in the country illegally.

An attack on the camp on September 1 left fewer than 50 residents left.

The group has accused Iraqi troops of carrying out the assault.

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has set up a probe into the incident. Iraqi officials say no Iraqi troops entered the camp.

Some Iraqi officials allege the violence began with infighting among camp residents. Others suggest explosions at the camp were triggered by mortar fire.

Some 3,000 MKO members were relocated to Camp Liberty on the outskirts of Baghdad last year but some 100 people stayed on at Camp Ashraf to deal with leftover property and goods.

Camp Liberty, Baghdad (View Larger Map)

The MKO was founded in the 1960s. The group seeks the overthrow of Iran's Shi'ite clerical rule, and some of its members fought alongside former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's forces in the Iraq-Iran War of the 1980s.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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