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UN discovers Ashraf bodies

13 September 2013

A MAKESHIFT morgue at Camp Ashraf, home to hundreds of Iranian exiles in Iraq, was found by UN visitors to contain 52 bodies, all appearing to have suffered gunshot wounds, it was reported last week.

The discovery follows an attack on 1 September. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq visited the camp the next day.

"All the deceased appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, the majority of them in the head and the upper body, and several with their hands tied," a statement said. "The delegation also saw several damaged buildings, including one burnt, and was shown quantities of explosives."

The deputy special representative of the secretary-general of the UN, György Busztin, who led the visit, said: "I call on the Iraqi government to ensure that a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into this atrocious crime is conducted without delay, and that the results of the investigation are made public."

The director of the Association of Anglo-Iranian Women in the UK, Laila Jazayeri, said on the day of the attack that it had been perpetrated by Iraqi forces.

On Wednesday last week, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said: "This vicious attack indicates that Maleki's government is either unable to or not committed to implementing and ensuring the safety, security and the well-being of a defenceless civilian population, who have been designated as 'Protected Persons' under the Geneva Convention and International Law."

Camp Ashraf is home to about 1500 Iranian exiles, many supporters of People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, which co-operated with supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini in toppling the Shah's regime in 1979.

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