Free Press Journal

Heartbreaking: Syrian photographer drops camera to save child after bomb blast


Every so often, a photograph cuts through the grim cacophony of the war in Syria and pierces viewers’ hearts.
It happened in 2015 with an image of the lifeless body of Alan Kurdi, face down on a beach in Turkey, who drowned in the Mediterranean fleeing the war. It happened last year too when a photographer captured little Omran Daqneesh sitting in an ambulance, his body bloodied and dusty after his home was bombed in Aleppo.

And it happened again last weekend, when a bomb hit a convoy of buses of carrying evacuees from besieged Syrian villages. Heartbreaking pictures have emerged of a Syria photographer putting down his camera in order to carry a wounded young boy to safety after a bomb attack and then breaking down in tears after seeing another child lying face down on the ground, presumably dead.

The Telegraph quotes local reports saying a man lured children waiting near the buses over to a car with pockets of chips. Then, a bomb was detonated. The attack claimed 126 lives and killed more than 80 children.

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Photographer and activist Abd Alkader Habak, who was working nearby was briefly knocked unconscious by the powerful blast. The first child he checked on was dead, Habak recalled in horror. Then he ran towards another. The boy was barely breathing. He picked him up and run towards the ambulance.

“This child was firmly holding my hand and looking at me,” Habak said.

These haunting photographs were taken by Muhammad Alrageb, another photographer at the scene when most of who were fleeing the al-Foua and Kefraya villages in the Idlib provinces.

Habak said he did not know whether the injured boy survived. He left the child who he guessed was around 7-years-old in an ambulance and rushed back to the scene of the bombing. That’s when the photographer came across another child on the ground. This devastating photograph, shot by a different photographer, shows Habak on his knees wailing near the boy’s body. Pictures of Habak have been shared tens of thousands times on social media.