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Diplomat: Palestinians in Syria protected

Dec. 20, 2012 at 6:33 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- An agreement has been worked out to ensure the safety of residents of a large Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, Syria, a Palestinian diplomat said Thursday.

Mahmud al-Khalidi, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Syria, told Ma'an News Agency Palestinian factions have agreed fighters will not be allowed to enter the Yarmouk refugee camp. He said soldiers loyal to President Bashar Assad will also stay out of Yarmouk.

"We are working to make the entrances of the camp safe for Palestinians," Khalidi said.

He said he has been assured government troops have been withdrawn.

More than 150,000 Palestinians live in Yarmouk, a Damascus suburb. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said it has provided shelter for 2,600 in the Damascus area, while another 1,000 fled to Lebanon.

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