Syrian activists have released striking pictures of a young boy rescued from a destroyed building after an air strike in the divided second city of Aleppo.
Video and photos of the boy sitting dazed and bloodied in an ambulance were shared widely on social media, with many expressing shock and outrage.
Injured boy in Aleppo
He was identified as Omran Daqneesh, 5, who was treated for head wounds on Wednesday night, according to a doctor.
His parents and three siblings are believed to have survived the attack.
Fighting between government and rebel forces has escalated in recent weeks in Aleppo, once Syria’s commercial and industrial hub, leaving hundreds dead. The victims include dozens of children, NGO Save the Children said.
On Thursday morning, United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura asked for a “gesture of humanity from both sides” and urged them to agree to a 48-hour pause in the hostilities in Aleppo to allow aid deliveries to the two million people trapped there.
He had earlier abandoned a meeting of the UN’s humanitarian task force for Syria after only eight minutes, because not a single aid convoy had been allowed to reach besieged areas since the start of the month.
Russia said it was ready to stop military operations in the city for a 48-hour period as early as next week.
The pro-opposition Aleppo Media Centre said the pictures of Omran had been taken in the rebel-held Qaterji district of the city late on Wednesday, reportedly following Russian air strikes that killed at least three people and injured 12 others.
The video shows the boy being carried out of a damaged building by a medic and then placed on a seat in the back of an ambulance, covered in dust and with a blood-covered face.
The medic then leaves the vehicle and Omran is left sitting quietly, appearing stunned by the ordeal. He runs his hand over his face and looks at the blood before wiping it on the seat.
He is later joined by two other young children and a man injured in the air strike.
“We were passing them from one balcony to the other,” Al Jazeera correspondent, who took the photo, told the Associated Press, adding that he had been handed three lifeless bodies before receiving the injured boy.