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Airstrike on Damascus kills 12 Palestinian refugees

Jan. 18, 2013 11:57 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2013 10:12 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Twelve Palestinian refugees were killed and more than 20 were injured in an airstrike on southern Damascus on Thursday, according to local media.

The UN refugee agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, condemned the killing of Palestinian refugees, saying it "again calls on the parties to pull back from civilian areas, including refugee camps."

Four women and six female children were among the fatalities in the strike on Husseiniyeh, a refugee neighborhood in Damascus, according to al-Yarmouk news, a Palestinian news source.

In December, thousands of refugees fled the al-Yarmouk camp, also in Damascus, when heavy fighting broke out between government and opposition forces.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told Ma'an: "The Yarmouk experience is being repeated in other parts of Greater Damascus and that is putting the refugee community at ever greater risk."

Last week, UNRWA said refugees were still able to leave Husseiniyeh amid the fighting, but not able to take their belongings with them.

The UN agency is hosting 6,549 displaced persons in its Damascus facilities, most of whom are Palestinian refugees.

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