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Bulgaria decides to guard refugee camp in Iraq for one more year

The Council of Ministers of Bulgaria on Wednesday decided to commit a new Bulgarian contingent to provide perimeter security at Camp Ashraf in Iraq for one more year as from March 31, 2007, the state-run news agency BTA reported.

The ministers approved on Wednesday an agreement with the United States, signed on Feb. 2, whereby the participation of the Bulgarian contingent in this humanitarian mission is extended by one year, and moved the agreement to the National Assembly for ratification.

The agreement regulates the military technological and logistical aspects of the Bulgarian participation and the status of Bulgarian service persons on Iraqi territory.

The size of the contingent will be the same as present: a 120-member guard company with their personal weapons and an up to 35-person National Support Element, the report said.

The participation of the Bulgarian contingent is to continue until March 31, 2008. The rotations will be determined by the Bulgarian side.

The contingent will be under the operational and tactical command of the U.S. forces. During implementation of the mission, Bulgaria will retain its criminal, civil and disciplinary jurisdiction in respect of all Bulgarian service persons.

The Ashraf refugee camp, northeast of Baghdad, houses some 3,500 members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian opposition group interned in Iraq, who enjoy protected status under the Fourth Geneva Convention.


February 08, 2007 – People’s Daily Online –  Xinhua

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