Iraq releases detained MKO members

The MKO members were arrested during the July 28-29 operation at Camp Ashraf.

The Iraqi government has released 36 members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) detained in a July raid on the notorious Camp Ashraf in Diyala province.The Iraqi government has released 36 members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) detained in a July raid on the notorious Camp Ashraf

Shahriar Kia, a spokesman for the exiled terrorist group, said the inmates were released on Wednesday ‘after more than two months of hunger strike’, and were immediately taken to Ashraf medical center for treatment.

He said the detainees had recently refused to take water, too, and were in critical condition. The claim could not be independently verified.

The prisoners were arrested by Iraqi police on rioting charges after they clashed with security forces during the July 28-29 operation at Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad, and were held in custody on grounds of illegal entry into the Iraqi soil.

In September, US Ambassador Christopher Hill vowed to press the Baghdad government not to repatriate Camp Ashraf residents to Iran.

MKO members, together with their families, have lived in Ashraf since former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein allowed the armed rebels to erect bases on the Iraqi territory during the 1980-88 war with Iran.

Following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the camp was protected by the US military until its 3,500 residents were shifted to Iraqi jurisdiction last January under a bilateral security pact.

The MKO, listed as a terror group by both Tehran and Washington, assassinated several leading Iranian figures after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It also engaged in bombings and brutal mass killing of civilians, and served as a military arm for the Baath regime in Baghdad during the Iraqi-Iranian war.

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