Activists say that in the latest violence in the Syrian capital, mortars have struck a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing 15 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that the Yarmouk camp was hit the previous evening. There were no reports on who had fired the mortars. The attack came amid government operations in the southern outskirts of the city as regime forces hunt down rebel sympathisers.

Also on Thursday, the nearby neighbourhood of Tadamon was shelled, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.

Palestinians refugees in Syria have tried to stay out of the 17-month old uprising, but their camp is nestled in an area known for its support for the rebels.

There are nearly 150,000 refugees living in the narrow streets of Yarmouk.

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