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Haunting picture of bloodied Syrian boy (5) sparks outrage around world

By Staff Reporter

Published 19/08/2016

The United Nations has suspended its humanitarian task force in Syria amid frustration over intensified fighting in the country’s civil war.

The decision was announced on Thursday as a haunting photo of a young boy rescued from beneath rubble of his home after a devastating air strike in Aleppo provoked outrage around the world.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN’s special envoy for Syria, stopped a meeting on humanitarian access after just eight minutes, saying it made “no sense” to plan aid deliveries when they would not be let into the besieged areas.

Speaking in Geneva, he said convoys had not been able to reach surrounded towns and cities throughout the month of August.

The image of the stunned and weary looking child, sitting in an orange chair inside an ambulance covered in dust and blood, was being shared around the world as an illustration of the horrors ravaging Aleppo.

A doctor in Aleppo identified the boy as five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, who was brought to the hospital known as “M10” overnight following the strike on the rebel-held Qaterji district.

He suffered head wounds, but no brain injuries, and was later discharged. At least eight victims, including five children, were reportedly killed in the bombing.

Omran was rescued with his three siblings, aged one, six and 11, along with his mother and father from the rubble of their destroyed block of flats.

Doctors in Aleppo use code names for hospitals, which they say have been systematically targeted by government air strikes, leaving patients too frightened to seek treatment.

Russia has proposed daily three-hour ceasefires in Aleppo, although no significant pause in air strikes is evident, and fighting continues on the ground.

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