Rocket fire hits Baghdad camp housing Iranian dissidents

Rocket fire hits Baghdad camp housing Iranian dissidents
A Camp housing members of the People's Mujahideen of Iran has been struck by rocket fire on Monday night, in the latest violence to hit the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
2 min read
05 July, 2016
The former US military base houses Iranian dissident group the MEK [AFP]

A camp housing Iranian dissidents near Baghdad's international airport, west of the city, was struck by rocket fire on Monday evening, Iraqi security sources said.

"A number of rockets fell on Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport. Security forces immediately began procedures to apprehend the suspects," said  General Saad Maan of the Baghdad Operations Command.

A spokesman for the People's Mujahideen of Iran (Mujahedin e Khalq, MEK), told Reuters that the shelling had caused several casualties without indicating a number.

Several caravans in the camp were set on fire, according to Shahriar Kia.

The Iranian dissident group blamed "Iraqi groups affiliated with the Iranian" government for the attack.

Camp Liberty, the former US military base, near the international airport, houses members of the MEK an opposition group that has been exiled since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The group 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.

It successfully lobbied to be removed from the US terror list but the more than 2,000 remaining dissidents at Camp Liberty are essentially stranded and demanding relocation.

The MEK have since come under attack several times in Iraq. In October, over 20 camp residents were killed in shelling by pro-Iranian militias, according to the group.

Baghdad is already reeling from Sunday's deadly Islamic State group suicide car bombing that targeted a busy shopping street and killed hundreds.