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Iranian opposition members killed at former Camp Liberty rocket attack

National Council of Resistance of Iran says 6 dead, 50 injured in rocket attack near Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraq protest baghdad kirkuk 02 08 2013Enlarge
Iraqis shout slogans during an anti-government protest at the end of Friday prayers in the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, 150 miles north of Baghdad on February 8, 2013. (MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images)

At least six people are dead and roughly 50 wounded after a rocket attack on the former Camp Liberty today near Baghdad, Iraq.

The camp, which once housed the American military, is now sheltering Iranian dissidents opposed to Iran’s clerical leadership.

Those killed belong to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK. It’s an offshoot of the French-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The group said on its website that six people – including one woman – died while more than 50 were hurt.

They complained the Iraqi government blocked them from transporting wounded to hospital, a claim the government and UN sources later denied.

“The Iraqi prime ministry is preventing the residents from transferring the wounded to hospitals with their few vehicles which were brought to Camp Liberty from Camp Ashraf,” the group said on its site. “The delays in transferring the wounded by the Iraqis occur despite the worsening condition of the wounded.

“This is an inhumane obstruction which will increase the number of martyrs.”

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However, the UN later called upon the Iraqi government to better protect the camp as resettlement efforts continue.

The MEK said it didn’t know who launched the attack, but suspected the Iranian Quds, special unit of the Revolutionary Guard active outside Iran, Reuters reported.

“At 5:30 a.m., around 18 Katyusha rockets landed in the camp, west of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 42,” an Iraqi policeman told Reuters.

MEK allied itself with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Reuters reported.

Until recently, the US considered MEK a terrorist organization.

The American government removed that designation last September; the group renounced violence more than 10 years ago, The Associated Press said.

Iraq – which has since allied itself with Iran’s Shiite government – no longer wants MEK within its borders and called upon the UN to expedite their removal, BBC reported.

More than 3,000 people now live in the camp.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/130209/iranian-opposition-members-killed-at-former-camp-liber