Iraqi army storms Iran opposition camp, scores wounded

1 08 2009

Full article

BAQUBA, Iraq — Iraqi soldiers and riot police stormed a camp housing Iran’s main exiled opposition on Tuesday, triggering violent clashes that left at least 260 people wounded.

The seizure of Camp Ashraf, which was disarmed by the United States in 2003 and surrounded by American forces until recently, comes after months of a tense stand-off at the base north of Baghdad.

“After the failure of negotiations with the Mujahedeen to enter peacefully, the Iraqi army entered Camp Ashraf with force and it now controls all of the interior and all entrances to the camp,” an Iraqi military source said.

The offensive followed a declaration by the People’s Mujahedeen, which is regarded as a terrorist outfit by Washington, that it was ready to return to Iran if the authorities there would guarantee its members would not be abused.

It also coincided with a visit to Iraq by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates but the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, said the US military had no advance warning.



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