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This image of a Syrian child was spread across social media this week after it was posted by a photojournalist.

Nadia Abu Shaban’s tweet a week ago has been shared more than 14,000 times, sparking discussions on sites such as Reddit with many disagreeing with her original caption. 

Nadia said the child thought the photographer had “a weapon not a camera” but the lack of evidence or further info led to many people suggesting that the image was staged or fake.

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The man who originally took the photo has now come forward and divulged the truth behind the image. 

Osman Sağırl told the BBC he took the photo in December last year when he was visiting Atmeh refugee camp, which is near the Turkish border.

“I was using a telephoto lens and she thought it was a weapon,” he recalled

“I realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.

The child is a four-year-old girl called Hudea. Mr Sağırl claims she was forced to flee fighting near her home in Hama with her mother and two siblings.

It is estimated that over 200,00 people have been killed so far in the Syrian war. Hudea is clearly far to used to seeing dangerous weapons in use. 

The post The Heart-Breaking Story Behind This Viral Photo appeared first on The Hook.