Iraq camp violence kills Iranian exiles
BAGHDAD — Deadly violence erupted in a contentious Iranian exile camp inside Iraq early Sunday, leaving international observers scrambling to determine the cause of the bloodshed and the number of casualties.
The dissidents alleged that more than 50 were killed and accused the Iraqi government.
Baghdad said an internal dispute was to blame.
And the United Nations mission to Iraq, which has been closely involved in trying to find a viable long-term solution for the dissidents, acknowledges it does not have a clear picture of what happened.
“The only thing we can confirm is there are a lot of casualties,” said Eliana Nabaa, the spokeswoman for the U.N. mission to Iraq. “How, why, when? It's difficult to assess.”
If the exiles' claims of the number of casualties prove to be true, it would mark a stunning blow for the remaining core of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq members still living in Camp Ashraf.
The Saddam Hussein-era community northeast of Baghdad had been home to only about 100 members of the MEK before Sunday.
The MEK opposes Iran's clerical regime and until last year was labeled a terrorist group by the United States.
Thousands of other MEK members who had been living in Camp Ashraf agreed to move to a Baghdad-area camp last year. They remain stuck in a country that does not want them as a process to resettle them abroad drags on.
A statement issued by the U.N. in New York said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplores events at Camp Ashraf that “reportedly left 47 killed,” though the U.N. cautioned that figure had not been confirmed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saudis tell women: Don’t defy and drive
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- Mom of Canada suspect: I cry for victims, not son
- Teams save foreign hikers stranded on Nepal trails
- Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung agrees to talks with protesters
- Marine accused in Philippine killing tests U.S. ties
- WHO: Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak is officially over
- Nasal cells help paralyzed man make history by walking
- 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament
- 10 hurt in bombing at Cairo University