ISIS takes over large parts of Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus

Thousands flee as violence continues to rage through Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.

April 1, 2015 16:40
Yarmouk refugee camp

Yarmouk refugee camp. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The hardline Islamic State group took control of large parts of a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus on Wednesday, witnesses and a monitoring group said.

The Yarmouk camp, home to up to 18,000 people, has been caught between government forces and Syrian insurgent groups including Islamic State's rivals such as al Qaeda's Nusra Front.

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"They pushed from the Hajar Aswad area and Nusra fighters have joined them, they have pledged loyalty to Daesh," one witness said, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.

The witness and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes continued inside the devastated camp where food, medicine and water are scarce.

The Observatory said Islamic State controlled some of the main streets in the camp.

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