Middle East

Omran Daqneesh, Aleppo's bloodied boy, shown in new images

Photo of journalist Khaled Iskef with Omran Daqneesh (2nd left), his father and sister (5 June 2017) Image copyright @khalediskef
Image caption Journalist Khaled Iskef took a selfie with Omran Daqneesh (2nd left) and his family

New pictures have emerged of Omran Daqneesh, the young Syrian boy who became a symbol of civilian suffering in the city of Aleppo last year.

A bloodied Omran was filmed after what activists said was an air strike on a rebel enclave that killed his brother.

On Sunday, he was photographed at his new home in the city, which is now under full government control.

In interviews with pro-government journalists, Omran's father complained that he had been used as "propaganda".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The image of Omran sitting in an ambulance sparked international compassion

Mohammed Daqneesh told a reporter from Iran's Al-Alam TV that the Syrian opposition and international media had wanted to use Omran to attack President Bashar al-Assad.

"They wanted to trade in his blood and published his photos," he added.

Mr Daqneesh said he had been sitting with his then five-year-old son when their home was hit on 17 August and that he had not heard a plane overhead.

He added that Omran had suffered only minor injuries and that the blood on his son's face had dripped on to him from one of his own wounds.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Omran Daqneesh's home was destroyed

As he searched for his three other children among the rubble, "gunmen" took Omran to an ambulance in the street outside and started filming him, Mr Daqneesh said. They then took him to hospital despite there being no need, he added.

Video footage of Omran being carried from a damaged building and being placed on a seat in the back of an ambulance by an unarmed man who appeared to be a rescue worker was filmed by the pro-opposition Aleppo Media Centre (AMC), after what it said was a series of overnight Russian air strikes on the Qaterji district.

A doctor at the hospital where Omran was taken told the BBC at the time that he had a head wound that required stitches and was suffering from shock.

When troops pushed into eastern Aleppo at the end of last year, Mr Daqneesh and his family reportedly chose to cross into government-controlled territory along with thousands of other civilians, rather than be evacuated to rebel-held Idlib province.

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