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PFLP-GC leader 'injured in assassination attempt' in Damascus

Nov. 23, 2012 1:45 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 24, 2012 8:15 P.M.)
DAMASCUS (Ma'an) -- A leader in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command was critically injured and four people were killed in an attempted assassination in Damascus on Wednesday, a senior official in the movement said.

A PFLP-GC source said Liwa al-Asifah Brigade fighters planted a bomb in Khalid Atteiq's car, injuring him and killing four others, in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus.

He accused the Liwa al-Asifah Brigades of trying to stir strife and drag Palestinians into Syria's uprising.

Al-Yarmouk News, a Facebook page reporting on events in the camp, said Atteiq was critically injured while trying to dismantle the explosive device in his car on Ein al-Ghazal street.

Yarmouk camp is largely under the control of PFLP-GC, which is aligned with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syrian rebels accuse PFLP-GC of cracking down on dissent in Yarmouk. In October, rebels announced they had begun arming Palestinians to establish the Liwa al-Asifah to wrest control of the camp.

Palestinian officials insist that refugees in Syria are not involved in the deadly war rocking the country, citing security concerns for the vulnerable refugee population if they are perceived to take sides.

But Syria's uprising has split Palestinian loyalties, with many ordinary Palestinians sympathetic to the uprising by their fellow Sunnis, and others recalling the Syrian government's long-support for Palestinians.

Syria hosts more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees, according to United Nations figures.
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