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The US military confirmed Thursday that some 3,800 people being held as "security detainees" in Iraq are Iranian militia
AFP: The US military confirmed Thursday that some 3,800 people being held as "security detainees" in Iraq are Iranian militia from a group known as the People's Mujahedeen, or MEK. "There's a group of 3,856 of MEK that we are detaining," Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of US ground forces in Iraq, told reporters. On Tuesday, a US general said the coalition was holding 4,400 security detainees, including around 3,800 who did not previously "fit into any category." Coalition and military officials would not however immediately say who these extra 3,800 were.The Iranian People's Mujahedeen members are being held by US forces in Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad. The group, also known by its Persian name Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), has been classified by Washington as a terrorist outfit. The MEK was a well-armed fighting force that with backing from now ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, has continued a guerrilla insurgency against the Islamic government in Tehran since the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Cantwell, Commandant of Camp Ashraf, last week told AFP the roughly 4,000 MEK members in the former Mujahedeen base were consolidated, detained, disarmed and were being screened for any past terrorist acts. US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday he was unable to explain the legal status of prisoners classified as security detainees.

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