World

Residents of Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus flee clashes, government shelling

Activists say hundreds of residents of a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus have fled after shelling by government forces and clashes between Islamic State fighters and Palestinian militants.

An activist based in an area just south of Damascus, Hatem al-Dimashqi, said many residents started fleeing the Yarmouk camp after midnight Sunday as the fighting let up. The camp has been subjected to intense shelling and airstrikes by the government.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and al-Dimashqi said those who fled the camp have reached the southern Damascus suburbs of Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem, which are under rebel control.

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