Iraqi forces clash with MKO

About 100 camp residents had attacked Iraqi troops during a “routine switch of military units outside the camp and that protect the camp.” He said the MEK members started throwing stones, burned tires and wounded five soldiers. Iraqi forces then pushed back to pin them inside the camp, he said.

Iraq's armed forces moved against a camp holding thousands of members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization that is based in Iraq Friday, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

It wasn't immediately possible to verify the claims of the MKO, of 31 dead and 300 wounded. Video clips sent out by the group showed armored personnel carriers and military Humvees in the perimeter of Camp Ashraf, apparently in the early hours of Friday morning. Five Iraqi soldiers also were reported injured.

“There was no shooting at the camp, it was a fight and scuffle without shooting,” said General Mohammed al-Askari, spokesman for Iraq's defense ministry, referring questions to the government.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said about 100 camp residents had attacked Iraqi troops during a “routine switch of military units outside the camp and that protect the camp.” He said the MEK members started throwing stones, burned tires and wounded five soldiers. Iraqi forces then pushed back to pin them inside the camp, he said.

“The government does not want to take any inhumane action towards them and remove them out of Iraq to Iran or any other country, but they must respect Iraqi law and not create problems,” Mr. al-Dabbagh said. “This organization is classified as a terrorist organization in Iraq and the United States of America, so we ask the international community help to solve (the MKO's) problem and find another country to accept them.”

Camp Ashraf was for years the group's armed training base in Iraq, where the group was sheltered by former President Saddam Hussein. But in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the camp disarmed.


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