World

Shi'ite militant threatens Iranian exiles in Iraq

BAGHDAD — The head of a new Shi’ite militant group in Iraq on Tuesday threatened to carry out more attacks on a camp for Iranian exiles that was struck by dozens of rockets and mortar shells earlier this month.

Seven people were killed in the Feb. 9 attack on the camp near Baghdad airport that houses members of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, the militant wing of a Paris-based Iranian opposition group. Iraq’s government, which maintains friendly ties with Tehran, considers the MEK a terrorist group and wants its members out of country.

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Comments on Tuesday from Wathiq al-Batat suggest he shares the government’s goal, even if he disagrees with its handling of the exiles. Batat said his Mukhtar Army group was behind the attack and promised more attacks.

‘‘It is time for the people of the MEK to leave Iraq. We have demanded that the government kick the group out of the country, but the Iraqi government did not respond positively to our demand,’’ he said. ‘‘We will strike them again until they leave.’’

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It was not possible to confirm Batat’s claim that his group was behind the attacks, but Iraqi officials and MEK members say they take his threats seriously. No other groups have taken responsibility.

‘‘Mukhtar Army’’ appeared on threatening leaflets delivered to Sunni households in a Baghdad neighborhood last week warning residents to leave or face grave consequences.

Associated Press

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