UN says thousands flee Palestinian refugee camp in Syria

"Handful of confirmed deaths, nearly 20 injured," UNRWA spokesman says; estimates that 5,000 to 10,000 have fled, their location is unknown.

August 15, 2011 21:11
1 minute read.
Syrian soldiers man tank (illustrative)

Syrian Tank 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Thousands of people fled a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian city of Latakia, some fleeing gunfire and others leaving on orders from the Syrian authorities, a spokesman for the UN agency which cares for Palestinian refugees said on Monday.

"Between 5,000 and 10,000 have fled, we don't where these people are so it's very worrying," said Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA agency. "We have a handful of confirmed deaths and nearly 20 injured," he added.

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Residents of Latakia say al-Raml refugee camp has been among the targets hit by Syrian security forces which have been attacking areas where protesters have been demonstrating against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Palestinian Authority on Monday called on Damascus to safeguard the lives of Palestinian refugees.

Nabil Abu Rdaina, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, called on "the Syrian authorities to take measures which prevent the violation of the lives of Palestinian refugees in al-Raml camp in Latakia", the official WAFA news reported.

The spokesman added that the Palestinian policy was not to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states, adding "the future of the regimes is in the hands of their people", WAFA reported.

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