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Iranian politicians disappear in Iraq

Security in IraqAssociated Press, August 15 – The US military says it is investigating the apparent kidnapping of two Iranian opposition members who disappeared weeks ago in Baghdad and it’s demanding their release.

The People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, or Mujahideen Khalq, had said two of its members were kidnapped by Iraqi interior ministry special forces troops, but ministry officials said they had no information about the abductions.

The US military has now confirmed the abduction and said it was working to release the men, adding that it had checked interior ministry units and stations for information.

Iraqi police have also been asked to help secure the men’s release, the military said.

The two men were kidnapped on August 4 while on a logistics trip to the capital, the military said.

A security review was under way due to the kidnappings, the military said, which considers members of the group protected persons under the Geneva Convention.

The Mujahideen Khalq was founded in the late 1960s and moved to Iraq in the early 1980s after it fell out with the clerical regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The movement used Iraq as a base for operations against Iran’s government.

US forces disarmed the group’s fighters after the 2003 US-led invasion. More than 3,000 of its members live in Camp Ashraf, which is under American military control. The group had sided with Iraq in its 1980-88 war against Iran.