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Ambulance medic seriously injured amid intense Aleppo violence

Save the Children, 22nd September 2016 

 

Shafak’s footage of Ahmad, the aid worker who was injured today, rescuing a family from a bombed building earlier this year is available to download here.

A medic with the Syrian charity Shafak has been seriously injured in a barrel bomb attack on his home in eastern Aleppo, amid escalating violence in the city in the last 24 hours.

Ahmad, aged 25, sustained injuries to chest and eyes, as well as burns on 20 per cent of his body as he was leaving to go to work as an ambulance medic this afternoon. He was on the balcony trying to put out a fire from another attack when the bomb hit. He had been preparing for the imminent arrival of his first child – Ahmad’s wife is in her last month of pregnancy.

Hassan, the Aleppo field coordinator for Shafak which partners with Save the Children, said 17 airstrikes hit their neighbourhood this morning alone. Residents in the city have reported the heaviest bombing for months, after a brief respite during the ceasefire.

Hassan said: “Ahmad was preparing to come to work when his building was hit with a phosphorous bomb, which caused a fire. So he tried to put the fire out and while he was doing so, a barrel bomb fell and he was hit with shrapnel. He fell on the phosphorous and got burned.”

“He (Ahmad) said to me, ‘the baby’s things I bought yesterday are all gone; it’s all burnt.’ His words really affected me.”

Ahmad is one of eight medics working on Shafak’s four ambulances in eastern Aleppo. The team works round the clock to respond in the aftermath of attacks and take casualties to hospital. The charity had eight ambulances, but half have been damaged or destroyed in recent months. Their office was also bombed in April.

Nick Finney, North-West Syria Country Director for Save the Children, said: “Despite the international outcry over the bombing of a UN convoy earlier this week, once again another Syrian humanitarian has been hurt. While world leaders play the blame game at the UNGA in New York, children are dying on the streets of Aleppo.

“Syrians like Shafak’s staff are risking their lives to help families every day, but they need our support. We want to see leaders meeting at UNGA agree to immediately reinstate the ceasefire and open access for humanitarian relief.”

Asa’ad al-Halabi, Advocacy Manager for Shafak, said: “The injuries suffered by Ahmad, one of our brave field staff in eastern Aleppo, is another frustrating example of the atrocities and violations against humanitarian staff inside Syria. It happened today and will continue to happen every day, if this shameful silence from the international community continues.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact c.anning@savethechildren.org.uk or call +90 5311038201 (Caroline, Antakya) / +44 7831650409 (Simon, London)

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