52 Killed in Massacre at Camp Ashraf; 30 Iraqis Killed in Other Attacks

At least 30 Iraqis were killed and 53 more were wounded in a number of attacks around Iraq. An unknown number of Iranian refugees were killed at Camp Ashraf as well. As many as 52 of them were killed and 30 more were wounded. The circumstances around that incident are unclear.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, a number of people have been killed and injured at Camp Ashraf, but they have not yet established all the facts surrounding the mayhem. The casualty figures could turn out as high as 52 killed and 30 wounded.

The residents, who are Iranian refugees belonging to the Mujahedeen al-Khalq (M.E.K.), say that Iraqi military forces bombarded the camp with mortar fire, resulting in a tally that reached 52 killed. That figure was provided by the group’s parent organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in Paris. Anonymous local officials and medical personnel confirmed that at least 44 residents were killed. As many as 30 more were reported wounded. Women were among the casualties, and several people are assumed missing. Five of the dead may have been executed or died after they were handcuffed.

The Iraqi government, meanwhile, reported a lower number of deaths, and contends they were due to gas canisters that exploded in camp. The government also claims two soldiers were killed when the residents attacked a nearby checkpoint; at least another soldier died and four more were wounded.

The M.E.K. fled Iran decades ago and set up camp in eastern Iraq. After Saddam fell, the new Iraqi government wanted to deport the group back to Iran but could not as the group was given protected status under the Geneva Conventions. The government, instead, has regularly waged harassment campaigns against the group. Most of them were transferred to another facility near Baghdad last year, as they await relocation to other countries. So far, only 162 of the thousands of refugees have been hosted elsewhere, mostly Albania. About 100 residents remained at Ashraf.

Meanwhile, in other violence, at least 27 Iraqis were killed and 49 more were wounded.

Twelve people were killed and 16 more were wounded in a suicide bombing in Tuz Khormato.

Three civilians were killed and six others were wounded near Tikrit when insurgents blew up several mobile phone towers.

A suicide bomber in Ramadi killed three policemen and wounded five others, including civilians.

A roadside bomb in Qayara killed three policemen and wounded another.

In Amiriyat al-Falluja, mortars stuck a police station, killing one policeman and wounding three others. A soldier was wounded in a nearby roadside blast.

One policeman was killed and four more were wounded in an I.E.D blast in Baiji.

In Mosul, gunmen killed a policeman. Three brothers were wounded in a car bombing. An I.E.D. wounded five civilians. A gunman was killed as he was trying to detonate a car bomb.

A bomb wounded three soldiers in Jurf al-Sakhar.

Two soldiers were wounded in a blast in Adhaim.

In Baghdad, a kidnapped child was liberated.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.