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Ban deplores attack on Iranian exile camp north of Baghdad

Entrance gate of Camp Ashraf
Entrance gate of Camp Ashraf

Ban deplores attack on Iranian exile camp north of Baghdad

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned an attack on an Iranian exile camp near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and urged the Government to launch an investigation into what happened.

“The Secretary-General deplores the tragic events in Camp Ashraf today that have reportedly left 47 killed,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “He expresses his sorrow and extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.”

Iraqi authorities have confirmed that medical support is being delivered to the Camp, according to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

Camp Ashraf is comprised of Iranian exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People's Mojahedeen of Iran.

More than 3,000 residents have been relocated to a transit facility know as Camp Liberty while the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) carries out a process to determine their refugee status, and resettle them outside of the country, in line with an agreement signed in December 2011 between the UN and the Iraqi Government.

This resettlement is a priority for UNAMI, in whose work Mr. Ban reiterated that he has “full support for and his absolute confidence”.

The UN mission said it intends to rapidly conduct it own assessment of the violence.

In today's statement, Mr. Ban urged the Government to restore security in the Camp and stressed that it is its responsibility to “ensure the safety and security” of the residents.

He also called for the Government of Iraq to promptly investigate the incident and disclose the findings.