Iraq: 35 Iranian Exiles Killed in Army Raid

April 14, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Relatives of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq mourn during a press conference in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2011. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq mourn during a press conference in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2011. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)
The United Nations said on Thursday that a raid conducted by the Iraqi army on Camp Ashraf, which holds an Iranian exile group, killed 35 people last week, according to media reports.

U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva that its personnel saw 28 bodies in the camp on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. He added that most were shot.

Colville added that six others were killed but the bodies have gone missing. There were women among those dead.

“It's clearly a very serious incident and we are trying to get more information,” he said, according to AP.

The BBC reported that many of the camp members were part of the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran, a group that seeks to oust the current Iranian government. The Iraqi government said that the several thousand people in the camp have to leave by the end of the year.

The left-leaning group is on the U.S. terrorist list and Sen. John Kerry, the Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, said “last week’s tragedy at Camp Ashraf is deeply disturbing and the Iraqi military action is simply unacceptable.”

Kerry said that “Iraqis must stop the bleeding and refrain from any further military action” around the camp and that the Iraqi government’s claim to do a full investigation “must be thorough and serious.”

Iran's ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Danaifar, said the government welcomes the People's Mujahideen back into the country after the massacre.

“These persons can travel to Iran or any other country if they are willing to do so and if no criminal case has been filed against them in Iran or Iraq. They will also be given passports,” he said, according to the Tehran Times.