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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria: UN agency warns violence near refugee camp endangering thousands of Palestinians

1 April 2015 – Fierce fighting has erupted between armed groups in the area of Yarmouk, a camp of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, putting thousands of people in danger, warned the spokesperson of the United Nations agency tasked with the ensuring the well-being of Palestinians across the Middle East.

"UNRWA is extremely concerned about the safety and protection of Syrian and Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, where since early afternoon today, intensive armed conflict has been ongoing between armed groups present in the area," Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), said in a statement.

UNRWA is demanding all parties respect and comply with their obligations to ensure the protection of civilians in the camp and called for an end to the fighting and a return to conditions that will enable its staff to support and assist Yarmouk's civilians.

Some 18,000 civilians, including some 3,500 children, reside in Yarmouk and are at extreme risk of death, serious injury, trauma and displacement, said Mr. Gunness.

"The intense armed clashes put these children at risk of serious injury and death. The lives of these children must be protected," he added, emphasizing that people have "suffered enough during Syria's pitiless conflict."

Earlier this week, on Tuesday at a donors' conference in Kuwait, governments pledged a total of $3.8 dollars to help the millions of people affected by the four-year Syria war, including Palestinian refugees.

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