2 Palestinians killed in Yarmouk shelling
Published Thursday 16/08/2012 (updated) 18/08/2012 17:43
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian refugee and his child were killed Thursday after the Syrian regime bombed residential areas in Yarmouk camp in Damascus, local activists said.
Palestinian activists in Yarmouk camp told Ma’an that the refugee, Jamal Abu al-Haija, and his daughter Hanin, 10, were killed by a mortar shell fired near their house in the sport city area.
Activists said dozens of shells were fired at Yarmouk camp at dawn because Syrian and Palestinian houses are next to each other in the camp. He pointed out that the sounds of shells had frightened children.
He said that a number of Palestinian families found shelters outside the camp and some moved to relatives’ houses. He said more than 1,000 families had immigrated to Lebanon.
Meanwhile UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said as many as 2.5 million people were in need of aid in Syria, where President Bashar Assad's forces are fighting rebels seeking his overthrow.
"Back in March we have estimated that a million people were in need of help. Now as many as 2.5 million are in need of assistance and we are working to update our plans and our funding requirements," Amos told reporters in Damascus after talks with Syrian officials.
Also Thursday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria's membership at a summit of Muslim leaders in Mecca citing Assad's violent suppression of the revolt, it said in a closing statement.
"The conference decides to suspend the Syrian Arab Republic membership in the OIC and all its subsidiary organs, specialized and affiliated institutions," the closing statement said.
The move had been approved on Monday at a preliminary meeting of OIC foreign ministers and was agreed on the summit's second night of meeting despite opposition by Iran.
Reuters contributed to this report.