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Iraq blames Iran for attack on exile group in Baghdad

BAGHDAD -- Iraq has blamed neighbor Iran for a bomb blast against an Iranian exile group in Baghdad that killed seven people, the Iraqi press said on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture and Information said in remarks published in the press that, "Agents of the Iranian regime are responsible for a car bomb which led to the martyrdom of Iraqi citizens."The spokesman did not say exactly how many people had died in the attack. But the Iraq-based armed Mujahideen Khalq group, which opposes Iran's government, said Wednesday's blast killed seven people, including an Iraqi, and wounded more than 20.

"We strongly condemn this criminal act and hold the Iranian regime responsible," the Al-Thawra paper quoted the Iraqi spokesman as saying.

"Among the victims of this cowardly terrorist act were Iraqi citizens," he said.

The Mujahideen Khalq said most of the victims were traveling on a bus to one of its camps northeast of Baghdad when it was hit by the blast from a pick-up truck loaded with explosives. Four of the group members died immediately while two more died in hospital.

The group also said the blast hit a separate Iraqi bus carrying civilians, killing one and injuring several others. The exact number of wounded was not known.