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The haunting face of Aleppo

Five-year-old Omran Daqneesh covered head to toe in dust with an open head wound [AMC]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2016

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Syrian opposition activists have released haunting footage showing a young boy rescued from the rubble in the aftermath of a devastating airstrike in Aleppo.

This is five-year-old Omran Daqneesh. Dazed, visibly still in shock and most probably petrified, he is seen sitting on an orange chair inside an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike.

The haunting footage of the young boy was taken by rebels in the besieged city of Aleppo on Wednesday night.

The city has been the target of daily Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes.

In the video a man is seen plucking Omran out of a chaotic night-time scene into an ambulance.

The boy, looking stunned and disorientated, is covered head to toe in dust with an open head wound.

Omran runs his hand over his blood-covered face and looks at it, before wiping the blood off his hand on the ambulance chair.

Just minutes earlier, Omran was pulled from beneath the rubble of a partially destroyed apartment building, where he lived with his family.

Rescue workers had arrived at the scene shortly after the airstrikes hit the rebel-held Qaterji neighbourhood.

They started pulling victims from the rubble.

"We were passing them from one balcony to the other," photojournalist Mahmoud Raslan said.

"We sent the younger children immediately to the ambulance," he said, referring to Omran and his younger siblings aged one and six.

His 11-year-old sister waited for her mother to be rescued.

"Her ankle was pinned beneath the rubble," Raslan said.

That night, Omran was taken to hospital and released hours later, after his head wounds were treated.

His image, much like that of the drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, encapsulates the horrors of Syria's five-year war.

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