Filipinos advised to be vigilant, stay away from public places after new round of Baghdad bombing
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A camp for Iranian dissidents near Baghdad's international airport was shelled on Monday, a spokesman of the opposition People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) said.
The bombardment caused casualties among residents of the camp, PMOI spokesman Shahriar Kia told Reuters, without indicating a number. Several caravans in the camp were set on fire.
Kia said the group suspects "Iraqi groups affiliated with the Iranian" government were responsible for the shelling.
A witness who lives near the airport heard twenty to thirty explosions that a security source said was a bombardment targeting the secured perimeter of the airport where the camp is located. It was not clear if any of the airport's facilities were hit. Kia said more than 50 mortar rounds hit the camp.
The PMOI sided with former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during Iran's war with Iraq in the 1980s but fell out of favour with Baghdad after he was toppled by a US-led invasion in 2003.
The PMOI have since come under attack several times in Iraq. Their camp near the airport was previously shelled in October.
The Philippine Embassy in Iraq in a statement issued via Twitter, saying that after the rocket attack near the Baghdad Airport and two suicide bombings in other areas in the capital, "reminds our kababayans here in Iraq to remain vigilant, stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel in the next several days."
"Please do not take public transportation and stay away from crowds and public places such as parks, shopping malls and markets. Please register with the Embassy if you still have not done so we could contact you in case of an emergency."
For those who want to go back to the Philippines, they were also advised to get in touch with the Embassy for assistance. — Reuters