Activists: Clashes rage between Syrian rebels, pro-government Palestinian fighters in Damascus

Activists say fighting between Syrian rebels and an armed group of Palestinians loyal to President Bashar Assad is raging inside a Damascus refugee camp.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says heavy battles are under way Tuesday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, in southern Damascus.

The Observatory says the fighting is forcing Palestinian refugees and Syrians who came to Yarmouk to escape violence elsewhere in the country to flee the camp.

When the revolt against Assad's rule unrest began in March 2011, the half-million-strong Palestinian community in Syria tried to stay on the sidelines.

As the civil war deepened, most Palestinians backed the rebels, though some groups — such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command — have been fighting on the government side.