The terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is reportedly opening fire on defecting members to prevent them from leaving their camp in Iraq’s Diyala province.
Over the last few weeks, some MKO members have managed to escape from the notorious Camp Ashraf, 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Baghdad, while others have been injured and captured, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Three of the detainees ventured a getaway through the camp’s northern gate when they were seized by MKO guards and one of them was shot in the leg.
The reports come in contrast with MKO’s US and European sympathizers claim that members of the outlawed group are not armed.
Efforts by the Iraqi government, following the fall of former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, to shut down the military camp have failed under pressure from the US military and Western media outlets.
During his Tehran visit to Iran on Tuesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari reiterated Baghdad’s stance on the terror cell. “Camp Ashraf is to be shut down, and members of the [MKO] group have been given until the end of the current year (2011) to leave Iraqi soil,” he said.
The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization is listed as a terrorist organization by Tehran and much of the international community, and is held responsible for numerous acts of terror against Iranian civilians and government officials.
The notorious group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Saddam’s Ba’athist regime and set up Camp Ashraf, about 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) west of the Iranian border.
The organization is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds in the country’s north.