300 radical fighters infiltrate Palestinian refugee camp, battling local committees
Xinhua | 2012-12-17 14:11:28
By Agencies
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More than 300 fighters from the radical al-Nusra Front on Sunday morning infiltrated the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus and clashed with local committees there, causing human losses, great chaos and huge displacement movement, local media said.

Al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq, has been beefing up the presence in the surrounding areas of the camp over the past days in a bid to storm it, the local Ajel news network said, adding that intense clashes are going on in the camp.

The local committees in the camp are controlled by the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command (PFLP-GC) led by Ahmad Jibril, who is a staunch supporter of the Syrian administration of President Bashar al- Assad.

Witnesses and sources said that tens of civilians and members of popular committees have been killed and wounded at the Yarmouk camp during the clashes, adding that most of the al-Nusra fighters came from the Damascus' suburbs of Daraya, Eastern Ghouta, al- Hajar al-Aswad and Yeldah.

Meanwhile, Anwar Rajja, the PFLP-GC spokesman, denied untrue media reports about defections in the PFLP-GC ranks and about the departure of its leaders from Damascus to the Syrian coastal city of Tartous.

The Lebanese al-Manar TV, which is close to the Syrian government, said the Nusra fighters are bombarding the camp from four axis.

Still, no exact number of casualties has emerged.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based activists' group, said that a Syrian MIG aircraft bombed parts of the camp, adding that eight people were killed in the process. However, Raja denied the airstrike reports.

Thrusting the Palestinians in the deadly Syrian crisis adds another complication to the political landscape in Syria which hosts more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees.

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