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UN officials strongly condemn attack on Iranian exile camp in Iraq

Special Representative for Iraq Martin Kobler.
UN Photo/Mark Garten
Special Representative for Iraq Martin Kobler.

UN officials strongly condemn attack on Iranian exile camp in Iraq

Two United Nations officials today strongly condemned an attack on Camp Liberty, an Iranian exile camp in Iraq, and called on the Government to assist and protect camp residents in need.

According to media reports two people were killed and dozens injured in a mortar attack to the camp, which is located near western Baghdad.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler and the country representative for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Claire Bourgeois, said they are “deeply concerned that today's tragic violence has occurred despite their repeated requests to the Government of Iraq to provide Camp Liberty and its residents with protective measures, including T-Walls.”

More than 3,000 residents, most of them members of a group known as the People's Mojahedeen of Iran, are temporarily housed in Camp Liberty – a transit facility also know as Camp Hurriya – while UNHCR carries out a process to determine their refugee status.

The camp had previously been attacked in February while most of the residents were sleeping. The attack resulted in six deaths and various injuries.

Camp residents were previously situated at Camp Ashraf in eastern Iraq, but were relocated last year, in line with an agreement signed in December 2011 between the UN and the Iraqi Government.

Mr. Kobler reminded the Government of its responsibility to guarantee the security and safety of Camp Liberty as well as Camp Ashraf's residents, throughout the relocation process.

He also called on authorities to do everything possible to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

“Today's second terror attack on camp Liberty is a reminder to third countries to come forward with serious offers to resettle Camp Liberty residents outside Iraq,” Mr. Kobler said. “Third countries must step forward and open their doors to relocation.”