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Iraq: U.S. Warns Iranian Militant Group To Disarm

Baghdad, 9 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. military today issued an ultimatum to an Iranian militant group based in Iraq, warning them to disarm or face attack. U.S. military officers said the armed members of the Mujahedin Khalq, or People's mujahedin, were occupying positions near the Iranian border but were negotiating with U.S. forces.

One U.S. commander, General Ray Odierno, told the Agency France Press that the U.S. forces were taking over checkpoints held by the militants under a previously arranged cease-fire. The United States signed a truce with the Mujahedin Khalq last month, but allowed the group to keep its weapons to defend itself against reprisals by rival Iranian groups.

The Mujahedeen Khalq opposes the Iranian government and had the support of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to operate in Iraq.