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Relocation Of Iranian Opposition Group From Iraq To Albania Completed

A camp housing members of an Iranian opposition group in Iraq was officially closed on September 9 after the last 280 residents were flown to Albania, the United Nations and residents said.

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or People's Mujahedeen Organization, which vehemently opposes the clerical regime in Tehran, has been based in Iraq since the 1980s, when they received arms and support from Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.

U.S.-led forces disarmed the group after the 2003 invasion and settled them at a base north of Baghdad.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau thanked Albania and Iraq for helping to relocate the group and provide it with international protection.

Armed groups, including Iranian-backed Iraqi government forces at times, attacked the group after Hussein's ouster, killing scores of its members.

The group said last year that more than 20 members were killed in a missile attack on their camp, but the figure could not be independently verified.

Despite having trouble verifying the casualty figures, the UN had repeatedly expressed concern about the safety of camp residents and helped arrange their relocation.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP