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6 dead in rocket attack on Iraqi refugee camp

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 9, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.

— Rockets and mortar rounds struck a refugee camp for Iranian exiles next to Baghdad’s 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 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. It asked the international community to speed up the 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. Iraq’s Shiite-led pro-Iranian government considers MEK a terrorist group and is eager to have it out of the country.

The refugee camp, located 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. He said more than 100 people were hurt, while the U.N. and police put the number of wounded at about 40.

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