2,000 evacuated from Syria's Yarmuk after ISIL advance: Palestinians
DAMASCUS - Agence France-Presse
Palestinian refugees queue up to receive aid parcels from a local organization at the besieged Yarmuk refugee camp, south of the Syrian capital Damascus, on March 11, 2015. AFP PhotoAround 2,000 people have been evacuated from the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus after the Islamic State group seized large parts of it, a Palestinian official told AFP April 5.
"Around 400 families, approximately 2,000 people, were able to leave the camp on Friday and Saturday via two secure roads to the Zahira district, which is under army control," said Anwar Abdul Hadi, a Palestine Liberation Organisation official.
Abdul Hadi said Syrian troops had helped in the evacuation, which came as Palestinian forces battled to hold back IS fighters who have captured large swathes of the camp since Wednesday.
Since the jihadist advance, regime forces have also shelled the camp and dropped barrel bombs on it, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Palestinian officials and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees have urged humanitarian access to the camp, where about 18,000 people remain under a government siege.