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Militants prevent patients from leaving Yarmouk camp

Jan. 8, 2014 9:42 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 9, 2014 2:11 P.M.)
DAMASCUS (Ma'an) -- A group of sick refugees who were to leave Yarmouk camp for treatment were unable to be transferred out of the camp after rebel militants opened fire at the camp's popular committee members and Palestinian militants on Wednesday, a committee source said.

Snipers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fired at the popular relief committee and members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command, a committee member said.

He said the ISIL snipers critically wounded the director of the relief committee in the chest, and that they fired at medics.

Along with their families, the 100 patients who were scheduled to leave for treatment returned to the camp.

Around 300 Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk camp were due to be transferred for medical treatment in Damascus, a PFLP-GC official said Tuesday.

The PFLP-GC is small militant faction that is aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Reports of widespread starvation and a general lack of supplies in Yarmouk refugee camp have intensified in recent months.

After rebels seized control of Yarmouk in December 2012, the camp became embroiled in the armed fighting taking place across Syria and came under heavy regime assault.

Regime forces eventually encircled the camp and in July imposed a siege on the camp, leading to a rapid deterioration of living conditions.

The Syrian conflict, which began as peaceful protests in March 2011 but developed into a civil war, has killed more than 130,000 people and prompted millions to flee their homes.
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