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#WhereIsBana: Syrian girl missing from Twitter

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The chilling tweets from the account of a 7-year-old Syrian girl made headlines around the world till early this month. Bana al-Abed's Twitter account, run by her mother, Fatemah al-Abed, went viral this past October and documented the harrowing details of living in war-torn Aleppo. However, after a final tweet announcing a goodbye, the account was deleted early this week. BBC reported her final tweet: "We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye. - Fatemah." No one knows the whereabouts of the family, and according to BBC, army troops have taken hold over eastern part of Aleppo, Bana and her family's last known location. Just last week, Fatemah claimed her family had received death threats. She wrote, “Bana and I received death threats and we are convinced Syrian Army will target us soon because of our account and messages.” On Sunday evening, the mother and daughter tweeted their goodbyes to their followers after their home in eastern Aleppo was hit during a bombing. The tweet garnered over 11,000 retweets and 9,000 likes, with followers responding back with their prayers and well wishes for the safety of the family. On Saturday, CNN reported that the Syrian regime launched a ground assault on Aleppo, which allowed for them to gain power over rebel controlled neighbourhoods. There were even reports of artillery fire that bombarded a housing area for displaced residents in the eastern part of Aleppo on Wednesday. An estimated 21 civilians were killed in the incident, and another 8 more were caught in shelling on government-held western side of the city. Bana's story is reminiscent of the stories of Anne Frank, who kept a handwritten journal documenting the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and bloggers Riverbend, who wrote Baghdad Burning and Salam Pax, author of Baghdad Blog, whose stories discussed their personal experience during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even more so, we see a lot of similarities between Bana and Malala Yousafzai, who was the face of our December/January 2016 issue and was also in Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Malala had blogged for BBC, documenting her life and thoughts under the Taliban seige in Pakistan. By Kelsey Seepersad Banner photo courtesy of: Twitter @AlabedBana.    

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