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Iraqi refugees in Sweden to be returned to Baghdad

By Xinhua

Stockholm : Asylum seekers who have fled from central and southern Iraq will no longer be allowed to stay in Sweden on the basis of the situation in their homeland, Swedish news agency TT reported on Friday.

For a permanent residence permit, refugees must be able to show that they are threatened, according to a ruling made by the Swedish Board of Migration.

The decision, which will serve as a guiding principle for the board, related to a case involving a 51-year-old man from Baghdad. The man was not able to demonstrate that he was threatened or being followed but instead sought asylum on the general grounds of the situation in the city, reported TT.

"There is no internal armed conflict in Iraq according to a decision taken by the Migration Court of Appeal," said Dan Eliasson, head of the Board of Migration.

The ruling could now lead to a mass deportation of many Iraqi refugees who have not yet had their cases dealt with.

More than 18,000 Iraqis have arrived in Sweden seeking asylum since 2006, the highest number in any European country.