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MKO elects new secretary-general

BAGHDAD, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The exiled Iranian opposition Mujahideen Khalq has elected a 33-year-old woman, Beheshteh Shadrou, as its secretary-general to replace Mhavash Sepehri, a spokesman said on Monday.

The election took place on Sunday at a military base near the Iranian border in neighbouring Iraq with thousands of Iraq-based Mujahideen fighters participating, spokesman Fareed Sulaimani said.

Mujahideen Kalq holds elections every two years to the post of secretary general. This year's election coincided with the 35th anniversary of the formation of the group, the most powerful armed opposition to the Islamic government in Tehran.

Mujahideen Khalq maintains several military of camps inside Iraq. They are armed with tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships and have been targets of Iranian attacks.

Curbing Mujahideen activities in Iraq is one of Tehran's conditions for normalising ties with Baghdad. Iraq in turn accuses Iran of providing refuge for Shi'ite Moslem dissidents who mount hit-and-run attacks on southern Iraq.

Opponents have attacked the Mujahideen's heavily-guarded headquarters in Baghdad and its military camps. On Thursday, it said one of its bases in Iraq came under fire from Iranian agents, but reported no casualties.


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