6 Slain in Attack on Refugee Camp in Iraq

Article excerpt

BAGHDAD Rockets and mortar rounds struck a refugee camp for Iranian exiles next to Baghdads 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. He urged Iraqi officials to investigate and bring the attackers to justice, noting that the government is responsible for the safety of the camp residents.

The government said that it launched an investigation but that there was little it can do to shield the camp, which is home to about 3,100 people, from rocket attacks. Iraq asked the international community to speed up 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. Iraqs Shiite-led pro- Iranian government considers MEK a terrorist group and is eager to have it out of the country.

The refugee camp, situated in a former American military base known as Camp Liberty, is meant to be a temporary way station while the United Nations 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. …