Wed Aug 22, 2018 | 04:42
US urges Iraq to treat MKO humanely
Sat, 09 Apr 2011 07:13:23 GMT
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US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
The US government has called on Iraq to treat members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) residing at Camp Ashraf humanely.

MKO members and Iraqi security forces clashed in the central province of Diyala on Friday. Media outlets have put the number of death tolls between three and 25.

"We've obviously been monitoring the situation in Camp Ashraf and Diyala. We're very concerned with reports of death and injuries resulting this morning for the clash between Iraqi security forces and the Mujahedin Khalq,” US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday.

“I urge the Iraqi government to show restraint and live up to their commitment to residents of Ashraf in accordance with Iraqi law and their International obligations,” he added.

In a statement, the US State Department also said that it was “deeply troubled” by the clash between Iraqi forces and residents of the camp.

An Iraqi commander said that Iraqi forces invaded the camp since the residents of the base had been hurling stones at security forces for two days.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's media advisor Ali Musawi said that Baghdad would no longer tolerate an organization that had been involved in terrorist activities and harms relations with neighbors.

More than 3,000 MKO members are residing at Camp Ashraf. In addition to cooperating with US soldiers in Iraq, the MKO sends elements to Iran on spy and terrorist missions.

The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community and is responsible for numerous acts of terror and violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border.

The organization is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.

Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been blocking the expulsion by pressuring the Iraqi government.

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