Most Iranian dissidents moved from Iraq camp

September 16, 2012 17:06


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BAGHDAD - Iraq has moved most Iranian dissidents out of a camp they have lived in for decades to a former US military base in Baghdad, ending a lengthy standoff with the group once sheltered by Saddam Hussein, officials said on Sunday.

Around 680 people were moved from Camp Ashraf on Saturday, the last large big group to leave the camp which had been home to the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), which fell out of favour after the Iraqi dictator's downfall.

"Of the 3,280 residents originally in Camp Ashraf, only a small group now remains on a temporary basis to arrange the details pursuant to the closure of the camp," said Martin Kobler, special representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq.

The Iranian group, which calls for the overthrow of Iran's clerical leaders and fought alongside Saddam's forces in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, is no longer welcome in Iraq under the Shi'ite Muslim-led government that came to power after Saddam's ouster in 2003.

Clashes between Ashraf residents and Iraqi security forces last year killed 34 people.

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