YouTube video shows Syria boy 'braving sniper fire' to rescue young girl trapped in shoot-out

Young boy labelled a hero for apparently saving the life of another girl

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The Independent Online

A young Syrian boy has been labelled a hero after video footage emerged appearing to show him braving a shower of bullets to rescue another child trapped in the middle of a shoot-out.

Footage released by the Shaam News Network, a news channel run by Syrian activists in Damascus, appears to show the boy initially lying on the ground as gunfire shots ring out near piles of bricks and rubble. The child is then seen getting up and running towards the burnt out shell of a car.

As he runs, he is seemingly hit by sniper fire. The boy stumbles and collapses to the ground, apparently dead.

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The boy climbs back up off the floor after seemingly being shot

Seconds later, he clambers back up off the floor and darts towards a terrified girl crouching behind the vehicle. A group of men can be heard exclaiming “allahu akbar” (God is great) when they realise he is still alive.

The boy then grabs the girl’s arm and pulls her back through sniper fire before disappearing behind the wall of a building. Both children appear to survive the ordeal.

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The boy and girl try to protect themselves from gunfire

Some viewers have suggested the boy may have been pretending to be dead in order to prevent the sniper from firing any more bullets.

It is not known where the footage was taken or what happened to either child after the incident.

The authenticity of the video has not yet been independently verified and many discussions are now focusing on whether it is legitimate or not.

Some reports suggest the events within it could have been staged, with doubts cast over the moment the boy appears to be shot.

Charlie Winter, a researcher at counter-extremism think tank Quilliam, told The Independent there is no real way of knowing at this stage if the video is real. He said it is also difficult to ascertain if the shooters are government troops or militant fighters.

He said: “It’s fast becoming something that people will refer to as a video that sums up the conflict in Syria. But at this stage, I would hesitate to say whether it is legitimate or not."

The Independent is currently trying to verify the video.

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