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Activists say militants seize most of refugee camp in Syrian capital; counterattack underway

  • FILE - In this Saturday, July 21, 2012 citizen journalist file image, women walk past a destroyed building after fighting between rebels and Syrian troops in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in south Damascus, Syria. On Saturday, April 4, 2015, Syrian activists said that Islamic militants have taken over the majority of neighborhoods in the Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus as fighting continues for the fourth day. (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, July 21, 2012 citizen journalist file image, women walk past a destroyed building after fighting between rebels and Syrian troops in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in south Damascus, Syria. On Saturday, April 4, 2015, Syrian activists said that Islamic militants have taken over the majority of neighborhoods in the Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus as fighting continues for the fourth day. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Saturday, July 21, 2012 citizen journalist file image shows Syrians walking past destroyed vehicles after fighting between rebels and Syrian troops in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in south Damascus, Syria. On Saturday, April 4, 2015, Syrian activists said that Islamic militants have taken over the majority of neighborhoods in the Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus as fighting continues for the fourth day. (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - This Saturday, July 21, 2012 citizen journalist file image shows Syrians walking past destroyed vehicles after fighting between rebels and Syrian troops in the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees in south Damascus, Syria. On Saturday, April 4, 2015, Syrian activists said that Islamic militants have taken over the majority of neighborhoods in the Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus as fighting continues for the fourth day. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

Syrian activists say Islamic militants have taken over the majority of neighborhoods in a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus as fighting continues for the fourth day.

They say the militants include the Islamic State group and the Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria. The two groups are rivals in Syria but appear to be cooperating in the attack on the Yarmouk camp.

An activist in southern Damascus, Hatem al-Dimashqi, said Saturday that rebel groups have launched a counteroffensive aimed at ousting the militants from the camp.

Islamic State militants stormed the Yarmouk camp on Wednesday, marking the extremist group's deepest foray yet into Damascus.

Damascus-based Palestinian official Khaled Abdul-Majid said Saturday that the Islamic State group was holding almost half of the camp.