BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A camp for Iranian dissidents near Baghdad’s international airport was shelled on Monday, wounding more than 40 residents, the opposition People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) said.
“According to reports from Camp Liberty, as of midnight tonight, more than 40 residents were wounded or injured in the missile attack on the camp,” Shahin Gobadi, a Paris-based PMOI spokesman, said in a statement.
The bombardment caused major destruction in the camp, including fires and deep craters, Gobadi added.
Another PMOI spokesman, Shahriar Kia, said earlier that the group suspected “Iraqi groups affiliated with the Iranian” government were responsible for the shelling.
A witness who lives near the airport heard 20 to 30 explosions that a security source said was a bombardment targeting the secured perimeter of the airport where the camp is located. It was not clear if any of the airport’s facilities were hit. Kia said more than 50 mortar rounds hit the camp.
The PMOI sided with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during Iran’s war with Iraq in the 1980s but fell out of favor with Baghdad after he was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
The PMOI have since come under attack several times in Iraq. Their camp near the airport was previously shelled in October.
Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Additional reporting by Peter Cooney in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Sandra Maler