6 die in attack on camp in Iraq

Posted: February 10, 2013

BAGHDAD - Rockets and mortar rounds struck a refugee camp for Iranian exiles next to Baghdad's international airport before dawn Saturday, killing six people and wounding about 40, police and U.N. officials said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack and urged Iraqi officials to investigate and bring the attackers to justice, saying the government is responsible for the safety of the camp residents.

The government said it launched an investigation, but there was little it can do to shield the camp, which is home to about 3,100 people, from rocket attacks. It asked the international community to speed up the resettlement of the refugees.

The camp houses members of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, the militant wing of a Paris-based Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Iraq's Shiite-led pro-Iranian government considers MEK a terrorist group and is eager to have it out of the country.

The refugee camp, located in a former U.S. military base known as Camp Liberty, is meant to be a temporary way station while the U.N. works to find host countries for the refugees. They are unlikely to return to Iran because of their opposition to the regime.

Camp spokesman Shahriar Kia said 35 rockets and mortar rounds struck the camp. He said more than 100 people were hurt, while the U.N. and police put the number of wounded at 40.

The Iranian opposition group provided amateur video and photos it said showed the aftermath of the attack. One photo showed five bodies swaddled in blankets lying on the ground in a hallway.

Two police officials confirmed that six people were killed in Saturday's attack and said more than 40 were hurt, including three Iraqi police officers. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to share information with the media.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|