Iran dissidents in Iraq call for protection after attack

June 18, 2011 23:21


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VILLEPINTE, France - An Iranian dissident leader called on the United Nations on Saturday to protect her group's Iraqi base after an attack by Iraqi security forces.

Camp Ashraf, about 65 km north of Baghdad, is the base of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), which the United States, Iraq and Iran consider a terrorist group. On April 8, Iraqi forces moved against the camp in what they said was an attempt to reclaim land and return it to farmers. The United Nations says 34 Iranian dissidents were killed, while Iraqi officials say three died.

"The armed forces must leave the camp and an impartial investigation into the April 8 massacre must begin," Maryam Rajavi told an event outside Paris that drew an estimated 15,000 people, mostly Iranian exiles from around the world.

The PMOI -- headed by Rajavi's husband, believed to be in hiding -- has for decades has advocated the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran in place since 1979.

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