Bana Alabed, a 7-year-old girl who used Twitter to chronicle the horrors of the civil war in Syria, appears to have been captured by forces loyal to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.
With the help of her mother, Fatemah, Bana updated her hundreds of thousands of followers with heartbreaking tweets about the escalating humanitarian crisis in the city of Aleppo.
In the past 24 hours, Fatemah posted two tweets that have led to concerns that the family has been removed from their home:
“We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye,” reads a tweet posted late Sunday night.
Shortly thereafter, Bana’s account was shut down.
It re-appeared this morning, and just hours ago, her mother posted the following tweet:
“We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye.”
The location of Bana and her family is currently unknown, but the BBC is reporting that all members “are safe.”
Many remain skeptical and will continue to fear for the Alabeds until they are able to offer an update themselves.
Bana first gained international attention several months ago, when multiple media outlets reported on her shocking and eye-opening tweets about the horrors of life in Aleppo.
Her family’s situation has become increasingly dire, and she’s continued to offer updates that help to put a face on the daily tragedies taking place in one of Syria’s largest cities.
On November 27, she reported that her family’s home had been destroyed by bombing:
“Tonight we have no house, it’s bombed and I got in rubble. I saw deaths and I almost died,” Bana tweeted.
Along with the Aleppo boy who became a symbol of the city’s nightmarish conditions after he was photographed being pulled from the rubble of a bombed building, Bana gave a voice to the thousands of Syrian children displaced by war.
Her tweets have gained the attention of celebrities like J.K. Rowling, who sent Bana a full set of Harry Potter e-books after the girl tweeted that she reads in order to “forget the war.”
On Twitter today, thousands are sending thoughts and prayers to Bana and her family.
We’ll have further updates on this story as more information becomes available.