French security forces have arrested 16 members of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) following clashes with a number of defectors in Paris.
According to a Sunday report published by the Habilian Association, an Iranian human rights NGO comprising a group of families that have lost their beloved ones in terrorist acts during the early years following Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, several MKO defectors staged a rally in the Saint-Michel square in the southern suburbs of Paris on Friday to voice their resentment at the terrorist activities of the anti-Iran group.
They were, however, confronted by a number of MKO members wielding knives, snap-off blade cutters, chains and baseball bats. Police later intervened to contain the violence, detained all 16 MKO members and sent them to judicial custody.
On June 17, 2007, over 50 MKO members attacked a public meeting in Paris at which several people were injured. The attackers filmed their activities at the scene. It was later revealed that the assault had been orchestrated by top MKO leaders.
According to French police, the assailants had been transferred from other European countries to France. None had French documents and some even had false papers. The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up a camp near the Iranian border.
The group is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and carrying out the massacre of the Iraqi Kurds. It has carried out numerous acts of violence against Iranian civilians and government officia