Threat of massacre at Ashraf camp in Iraq, warn Euro-MPs

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Urgent international action is needed to avert "a Srbrenica-style massacre" at the Iraqi Ashraf camp housing thousands of exiled Iranian opponents, a European parliament delegation said Tuesday after returning from Iraq.

"We've had so many threats from the Iraqi government... of what could happen if Ashraf is not cleared by the end of this year," said Scottish conservative MEP Struan Stevenson, who headed a parliamentary delegation in Iraq from April 25 to 29.

The visit took place two weeks after an Iraqi army raid in the camp housing 3,500 people left at least 35 dead.

"Having seen the massacre that took place on April 8th, I can only anticipate that if we do not resolve the situation... there will be a Srebrenica style massacre," he added.

The People's Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI) who have lived there for some 30 years, "are deeply reluctant to abandon Ashraf, which they regard as their home," he added.

"However they recognise the seriousness of this problem and the potential threat of a Srebrenica-style bloodbath if nothing is done."

Iraqi security forces raided the camp in April as tensions between the opponents of Iran's clerical regime and the Iraqi authorities reached new heights.

Iraq, which denied the military carried out the killings, said after the raid that the PMOI must leave the country by the end of the year.

The Euro-MPs, who were not able to visit the camp, want the refugees to be resettled in Europe, Austalia, Canada and the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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