DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An Iranian opposition group based in Iraq claims that elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards crossed the border into Iraq and clashed with its fighters, killing 28 and abducting some of the wounded.
The People's Mujahedeen, which seeks the violent overthrow of Iran's Islamic establishment, said in a statement that the fighting started Thursday and lasted three days.
"The mullah's henchmen abducted a number of wounded Mujahedeen and transferred them to Iran through the Iraqi town of Khaneqin," the statement said. "The abducted Mujahedeen are now in the Iranian regime's torture centers."
It was not possible to verify the claims of the Mujahedeen, which seeks a secular government in Iran and lost one of its main backers with the fall of President Saddam Hussein. The U.S. State Department lists the Mujahedeen as a terrorist organization.
Iran has not reacted to the group's claims. But on Sunday, state-run Iranian television reported that "tens" of Mujahedeen fighters were killed in clashes with Iraqi fighters near Khaneqin, some 90 miles north of Baghdad.
And a military official in southwestern Iran said more than 200 "repenting" members of the Mujahedeen have surrendered to Iranian authorities, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Tuesday.
Gen. Mohammad Reza Moradi said the fall of Saddam has further isolated the opposition group.
"The terrorist hypocrites are roaming in Iraqi deserts after the fall of Saddam's regime," IRNA quoted him as saying.
In London, about 30 supporters of the Mujahedeen protested Tuesday outside Prime Minister Tony Blair's residence, banging drums and waving banners that read, "Condemn Mullahs' Terrorism Against Mujahedeen of Iran."