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UNRWA: 3,500 Palestinian refugees flee Syria’s Yarmouk camp

People 'sleeping in the streets and begging for medicine' as Assad government steps up offensive in southern Damascus.

Among those present in Yarmouk camp are ISIL and HTS fighters [File: Moayad Zaghmout/Reuters]

An estimated 3,500 Palestinians have fled the embattled Yarmouk refugee camp during a week of violence, according to the UN, as the Syrian government escalates its ongoing military operationin southern Damascus.

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Yarmouk, which has been besieged by the Syrian government and opposition groups since 2013, was once home to nearly 200,000 people, among them Palestinian refugees, Syrians and others.

“Those stark figures tell their own tragic story, of the destruction of a once thriving refugee community, now reduced to abject, untold suffering,” Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for UNRWA, the body responsible for Palestinian refugees, told Al Jazeera.

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