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2,000 evacuated from Syria’s Yarmouk after ISIS advance: Palestinians

Abdul Hadi said Syrian troops had helped in the evacuation, which came as Palestinian forces battled to hold back ISIS

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Around 2,000 people have been evacuated from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group seized large parts of it, a Palestinian official told AFP Sunday.

“Around 400 families, approximately 2,000 people, were able to leave the camp on Friday and Saturday via two secure roads to the Zahira district, which is under army control,” said Anwar Abdul Hadi, a Palestine Liberation Organisation official.

Abdul Hadi said Syrian troops had helped in the evacuation, which came as Palestinian forces battled to hold back ISIS fighters who have captured large swathes of the camp since Wednesday.

Since the jihadist advance, regime forces have also shelled the camp and dropped barrel bombs on it, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Palestinian officials and the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees have urged humanitarian access to the camp, where about 18,000 people remain under a government siege.