United Nations: Some civilians evacuated from Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp

April 5, 2015 14:05

BEIRUT - Some civilians were evacuated from a Palestinian refugee camp on the Damascus outskirts, the United Nations said on Sunday, fleeing an advance by Islamic State and more that two years of government siege that has led to starvation and disease.

Islamic State has taken most of Yarmouk camp from rival insurgents while the army surrounds the district, only a few kilometers from President Bashar Assad's palace.

UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Chris Gunness said 94 civilians, including 43 women and 20 children, made it out of the camp on Sunday and were provided with humanitarian support.

There are still 18,000 people in the camp, a mixture of Palestinians and Syrians, according to the UNRWA. Yarmouk became a battleground before the siege, and has been devastated by street fighting, air attacks and shelling.

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