Middle East

Bana Alabed, seven-year-old tweeting from Aleppo, goes quiet

Bana Alabed, seated at a desk with a book and doll, from her Twitter account Image copyright @alebedbana
Image caption Bana Alabed's tweets drew worldwide attention

A seven-year-old girl whose tweets from besieged eastern Aleppo drew worldwide attention has disappeared from the social network amid an army offensive.

Tweeting in English with the help of her mother, a teacher, Bana Alabed painted a picture of life in the city.

But the account was deleted on Sunday, as troops pushed into the city's east.

The final tweet, by her mother, read: "We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye. - Fatemah".

Meet the seven-year-old girl tweeting from Aleppo

Aleppo, Syria's second city, has been split in two during the country's long conflict. Bana lived in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, which has been relentlessly bombed by the army.

Army troops advanced further into the city's east overnight, following a heavy bombardment.

Image copyright @alabedbana
Image caption Bana and her two brothers live in rebel-held east Aleppo

Bana's Twitter account - @alabedbana - had amassed more than 100,000 followers.

The account, where tweets were posted by both Bana and her mother Fatemah, drew attention to the plight of civilians trapped in eastern Aleppo.

In a conversation with the BBC in October, Fatemah said her daughter wanted "the world to hear our voice".

One tweet from November read: "Tonight we have no house, it's bombed and I got in rubble. I saw deaths and I almost died."

Another said that a friend had been killed when her house was bombed.

Image copyright @alabedbana

In one video posted on the account, Bana appeared with her brothers - five-year-old Mohamed and three-year-old Noor - with the message "drawing with the brothers before the planes come. We need peace to draw".

Another short video showed the three together in a bedroom. "We will live forever together," Bana said, before laughing and hugging her brothers.

In others she appeared with her mother.

Bana's tweets captured the attention of JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series.

Ms Rowling sent Bana eBooks of the entire Harry Potter series after the young girl posted that she liked to read "to forget the war."

The author retweeted several messages after the account was deleted, calling for information on the girl's whereabouts.

Image copyright @alabedbana

At least 300 people have been killed since the government-led offensive on east Aleppo and about 250,000 are thought to be trapped in besieged areas.

Earlier this week, Stephen O'Brien, the UN's humanitarian affairs chief, said parts of the city were at risk of becoming "one giant graveyard".

He said some people inside opposition-controlled areas were so hungry they had been reduced to scavenging.

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