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Rocket attack kills 2 Iranian dissidents, wounds dozens in Iraq
A spokesman for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, blamed the attack on the Iranian regime.
“Dozens of 107 mm rockets hit the camp even as Iran conducts its sham election,” Shahriar Kia, an MeK spokesman, said in a phone interview from Camp Liberty, the makeshift camp near Baghdad's international airport where the Iranian dissidents are housed.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry described the attack as “brutal, senseless, and utterly unacceptable.”
The Obama administration has, “at the highest levels” personally urged the government of Iraq to “render all possible medical assistance to the victims and ensure the safety of the camp’s residents, consistent with its commitments and obligations,” Mr. Kerry said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler and the country representative for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Claire Bourgeois, said they are “deeply concerned that today’s tragic violence has occurred despite their repeated requests to the government of Iraq to provide Camp Liberty and its residents with protective measures, including T-Walls.”
The camp has been attacked with missiles twice before — on Feb. 9 and April 29.
Saddam Hussein gave the MeK refuge in Iraq in the 1980s.
The MeK was responsible for terrorist attacks in Iran in the 1970s that killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians, according to the State Department. The group denies any role in the deaths of U.S. military personnel.
The Obama administration in September took the MeK off the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, where it had been placed in 1997 as the Clinton administration sought to open negotiations with Iran.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wants the Iranian dissidents out of Iraq and the interviews are a necessary step to resettle them in other countries.
On May 31, 30 residents of Camp Liberty were relocated to Albania.
“We must find a permanent and long term solution that ensures their safety,” he said.
Mr. Kia said the attack added urgency to the MeK’s demand that the remaining residents of Camp Liberty should immediately be transferred back to Camp Ashraf, which is equipped with bomb shelters and bunkers.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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