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U.S. humanitarian aid reaches Camp Ashraf in Iraq

(CBS/AP) Over the weekend, the Iraqi government at first blocked and then allowed U.S. humanitarian aid for Iranian exiles wounded during a raid by Iraqi Army forces at Camp Ashraf, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, according to a U.S. military spokesman.

As many as 33 people from the camp were been killed during the raid, according to various reports. The Iraqi government has not allowed the foreign press full access to the camp and its population, and has maintained that only a few people were killed during the incident.

More than 3,400 Iranians live at Camp Ashraf. They are part of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), which seeks the overthrow of Iran's leaders and is considered a terrorist group by Tehran. The group was given sanctuary by the Saddam Hussein, then protected by the American forces after the regime fell, and now falls under the jurisdiction of the Iraqi government. The PMOI maintains that 33 people were killed and 300 wounded during fighting with Iraqi Army forces.

AFP reported that as of Sunday, the Iraqi government had allowed a U.S. medical assistance team into Camp Ashraf.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the Iraqi army was right to storm Camp Ashraf.

"Under the Iraqi constitution, no terrorist group can use the Iraqi soil as a base to operate against neighboring countries," Salehi told a press conference in Tehran.

Therefore, he said the raid was legally necessary, and "needs to be praised."

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The Obama administration is "deeply troubled," State Department deputy spokesman Mark C. Toner said in a statement.

"The UN Special Representative in Iraq, Mr. Ad Melkert, has still not been allowed access to Camp Ashraf as of Monday," UN Secretary General spokesman Farhan Haq told CBS News. "The situation has not been changed since the comment expressed by Mr. Melkert at the UN Security Council's meeting on Friday August 8th."

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) calls for restraint and respect for humanitarian and human rights and urges the Iraqi authorities to provide humanitarian assistance in this regard and access to medical services.

"We absolutely deplore such loss of life and injury," said British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt in a statement.

"We condemn all acts of violence perpetrated against the residents of Ashraf, and call on the government of Iraq to immediately reaffirm and meet its obligations to ensure their safety and well-being," said a joint statement by two U.S. House lawmakers, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, and California Democrat Howard L. Berman.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International demanded that the Iraqi government investigate the raid.

U.S. forces were stationed near Ashraf during the raid but had no legal authority to intervene under a 2008 security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.

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