Aug. 16 - Thousands of Palestinians flee a refugee camp, some from heavy gunfire, others on the orders of Syrian authorities, according to the U.N. Paul Chapman reports.
Amateur video purportedly showing an attack by Syrian forces on a Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia. The United Nations says up to 10, 000 refugees have fled.... ....some to escape heavy gunfire, others on the orders of Syrian authorities. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the content of the video obtained from a social media website. Christopher Gunness, UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman says at least four Palestinians have been killed and nearly 20 wounded. SOUNDBITE: Christopher Gunness, UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman, saying (English): "They fled incoming fire from gun boats, they fled incoming fire from the land, and security personnel told them to leave. We are saying to the Syrian government we want immediate humanitarian access to tend to the sick, to tend to the dying, and to get our programmes up and running." In the West Bank city of Ramallah Palestinians protest against the bloodshed. The Palestinian presidency is urging Damascus to safeguard the lives of the refugees on Syrian soil. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation's refugee affairs officials say they're not a part of Syria's turmoil. SOUNDBITE: Ahmad Hanoon, general manager at the PLO Refugee Affairs Department, saying (Arabic): "The Palestinians should be spared the Syria's internal problems. The Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian residents of Syria are outside the conflict that is taking place within Syria." Back in the Syrian city of Latakia residents say the refugee camp is just one of the targets hit by Syrian forces in their crackdown against anti-government protests. Amateur video posted on a social media website on Monday appeared to show the funeral of one of the dozens killed. Again Reuters hasn't been able to independently verify the content. Latest reports by 0200gmt on Tuesday said at least 34 people including a two-year-old girl had lost their lives in the military assault by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Paul Chapman, Reuters