More evacuees flee Islamic State holdouts in NE Syria: UN

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-23 06:12:24|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- In a fresh displacement, some 2,500 people, mainly women and children, fled fighting in Hajin and Baghouz, both Islamic State holdouts, to an already overcrowded camp in northeastern Syria, a UN spokesman said on Friday.

Fleeing besieged sites in Deir Ezzour governorate, the evacuees arrived in Al-Hol camp in Hassakeh governorate late Thursday, bringing the total number of internally displaced people in the camp to over 43,000, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"The conditions in the camp are extremely dire as the camp has surpassed by far its accommodation capacity," the spokesman said. "Thousands more may arrive at the camp in the coming hours and days."

The UN refugee agency known as UNHCR, which runs the Al-Hol camp, has expressed its deep concern by reports of mounting civilian casualties -- including many women and children -- and large-scale civilian displacement amid renewed fighting in the Hajin enclave.

UNHCR said in January that for the previous six months, clashes and air strikes in southeast part of Deir Ezzour had forced about 25,000 people to flee.

It said those fleeing reported increasingly desperate conditions they left behind, with diminishing services and extremely high prices for basic foods.