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Attack kills 2, wounds 27 at Iranian exile group's camp in Iraq

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 4:44 PM EDT, Sat June 15, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: U.S. condemns the attack, calls on Iraq to give immediate medical help and investigate
  • The attack occurred at what was once known as Camp Liberty
  • It is now the home of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian exile group
  • Saturday's attack was the third since February 9, the group says

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- A camp housing a group of Iranian dissidents in Iraq was attacked Saturday, leaving at least two people dead and 27 wounded, a spokesman for the group said.

The rocket attack occurred on the outskirts of Baghdad at Camp Hurriya, a former U.S. base known as Camp Liberty, now the home of the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e-Khalq.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, which the group, also known as the MEK, says damaged a number of the camp's facilities.

Saturday's incident is the camp's third rocket attack since February 9, when eight residents were killed and 100 wounded, according to Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The United States condemned the attack and called on the Iraqi government to provide immediate medical aid to the victims and ensure the safety of the camp's residents.

"We've also called on the government of Iraq to investigate this attack and bring the terrorists responsible to justice," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement released Saturday.

The MEK fought alongside Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's troops during the Iran-Iraq war. Relations between Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated government and the MEK have been tense since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Hussein and his Sunni government.

The group, once considered a terror organization by the United States, was removed from a State Department terror list in September, following a decision by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The MEK moved to Camp Hurriya last year from its longtime home at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, a temporary measure before members are resettled in third countries.

The United States has been working with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees on the resettlement project.

CNN's Tom Dunlavey contributed to this report.

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