Baghdad probing deadly attack on Iran opposition camp

About 15 rockets crashed near the camp of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) near Baghdad, and killed 23 members

Published: Updated:

Iraqi security forces are investigating a rocket attack on a camp housing a dissident Iranian organization which the exiled group said killed more than 20 people, a spokesman said Friday.

"The investigation is under way," joint operations command spokesman Yahya Rasool said of the attack, which drew condemnation from the United States and United Nations.

"The people behind this attack are terrorist criminals who want to destabilize the country," he said, without naming any group or country.

According to Iraqi security sources, at least 15 rockets were fired from an area west of Baghdad called Bakriya on Thursday evening in and around Camp Liberty.

The former U.S. military base, near the international airport, houses members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an opposition group that has been exiled since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Fars news agency reported that the commander of Iraq's Shiite Muslim al-Mukhtar Army militia claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

"We warned the members of this terrorist organization to leave Iraq as soon as possible ... If they don't do so, there will more similar attacks," al-Mukhtar Army commander Wathiq al Battat was quoted as saying by Fars.

The People's Mujahedin of Iran sided with Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the war with Iran in the 1980s but the 2003 US-led invasion brought leaders with ties to Tehran to power.

[With Reuters]