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Albania police raid anti-Iran MKO camp over terrorist acts

Albania law enforcement officers. (File photo)

Police in Albania have raided a camp belonging to the anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) due to its involvement in "terror and cyber attacks" against foreign institutions.

Clashes erupted when police attacked the camp, known as Ashraf-3, in the northwest of the capital Tirana, on Tuesday.

Reports said one person was killed and dozens of others were injured in the clashes.

Albania’s Special Court Against Crime and Corruption authorized the operation due to concerns that the MKO had been involved in terror and cyber attacks, the interior ministry said in a statement. 

According to the MKO, about a thousand police officers attacked the camp “in a criminal and oppressive act.”

“Many broke doors, cupboards, belongings and attacked residents with tear gas and spray. Many computers are broken" the MKO said.

Police, however, said in a statement that “during the operation, they caused no casualties and did not use weapons under any circumstances.” 

The group urged the United States and the United Nations to condemn the raid on the camp.

The clashes happened after France said it was banning an upcoming MKO rally in Paris over fears of an attack, according to a letter sent to the organizers and seen by Reuters.

In February, the NCRI, the political arm of the MKO, attracted a large crowd to an event in central Paris, and planned its annual rally on July 1.

The ban comes as Western powers seek to ease tensions with Iran.

MKO members spent many years in Iraq, where they were hosted and armed by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. They sided with Saddam during the 1980-88 war against Iran and then helped him quell uprisings in various parts of the Arab country.

Albania started hosting the terrorists after the group was shunned by the government of former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The European country is estimated to have been accommodating some 3,000 members of the terror cult since 2016.

The European Union, Canada, the United States, and Japan had previously listed the MKO as a "terrorist organization".

In 2012, the group was taken off the US list of terrorist organizations. The EU followed suit, removing the group from its list of terrorist organizations. 

The MKO has carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past decades, killing nearly 17,000 Iranians.

The group throws lavish conferences every year in Paris, with certain American and other Western officials in attendance as guests of honor.

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