BAGHDAD — Iraq's prime minister ordered an investigation Monday into the slaying of half of the roughly 100 remaining residents at an Iranian dissident camp north of Baghdad, where a U.N. team got its first look at the aftermath of the large-scale bloodshed.
The promised probe will do little to appease backers of the more than 3,000 exiles left inside Iraq who believe they remain targets in a country whose government wants them gone.
Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq members living at Camp Ashraf insist that the Saddam Hussein-era facility came under attack Sunday from Iraqi forces. Iraqi officials have denied involvement, with some suggesting there was an internal dispute at the camp.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office said a special committee is being set up to investigate what happened at the camp, located about 95 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of the Iraqi capital.
In a statement, it said the Iraqi government is committed to ensuring the safety of people living within its borders. But the terse remarks also made clear Baghdad's impatience with resolving the MEK issue, stressing "the necessity of transferring the MEK members who are staying in Iraq illegally."
The MEK opposes Iran's clerical regime and until last year was labeled a terrorist group by the United States. It carried out a series of bombings and assassinations inside Iran in the 1980s and fought alongside Iraqi forces in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Saddam granted several thousand of its members sanctuary inside Iraq.