UN agrees plan to move Iranian exiles

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The Independent Online

The UN and the Iraqi government have agreed to relocate thousands of Iranian exiles living in a camp in north-eastern Iraq, potentially averting a showdown with its residents. The dissidents, who have not said whether they would agree to move, reported a rocket attack.

The People's Mujahidin of Iran organisation, one-time allies of Saddam Hussein in a common fight against Iran, said Katyusha rockets struck on Sunday night. A representative of the camp's residents said yesterday they were still waiting to see the agreement before commenting.

Since Saddam's overthrow, Iraq's new leaders have improved relations with Iran and have sought to shut the camp, home to 3,400 residents and located north-east of Baghdad about 50 miles from the Iranian border. The UN reported at least 34 people were killed in a raid by Iraqi government forces in April.

The UN announced an agreement on Sunday night that establishes a process to move the residents of Camp Ashraf to a temporary location. A statement from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said they would be moved to Camp Liberty, a former US military base. The UN's refugee agency will interview residents to determine their eligibility to get refugee status, before they can eventually be resettled, Mrs Clinton said.