Iraq gives Iranian exiles’ camp an extension

Under international pressure, the Iraqi government on Wednesday backed off its threat to close a refugee camp holding 3,400 Iranian exiles by the end of the month.

Instead, Iraq said that it will shut Camp Ashraf sometime in January and insisted that all its residents must leave the country by April. It promised not to deport anyone to Iran.

The Iraqi government had pledged to shut the camp completely by the end of December and move the residents to another location.

The United Nations has said that at least 34 people were killed in a raid on the camp by Iraqi security forces in April.

On Wednesday, Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the government had worked out a plan to move up to 800 of the residents to a new facility in Baghdad by the end of December. That facility is a former American military base called Camp Liberty.


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