11 Dec. 2017
Afghan policemen try to rescue four-year-old Ali Ahmad at the site of a suicide attack followed by a clash between Afghan forces and insurgents after an attack on a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2017. Omar Sobhani: "It was a Friday afternoon when I got a message about an attack by Islamic State fighters on a Shi'ite mosque that had killed and wounded a great many people. I drove to the site where dozens of security forces had already arrived. When I saw the three armed policemen at the main entrance shouting at someone, I rushed to a safe place and saw Ali Ahmad, the boy in the picture. He had been playing while his grandfather was praying inside when the attack happened and he seemed completely confused by the sound of gunshots and police shouting. I had time to get a few shots before security forces told me to leave the area but I was sure it was a top shot and I uploaded it quickly. It didn't take long before the picture began to be shared widely on social media. I think people reacted to the picture of a little child who didn't know what was happening with all this brutality going on around him. Ali's grandfather was killed inside the mosque but I learned later that the boy was rescued by security forces. Sayed Bashir, Ali's father, was nearby but not in the mosque when the initial blast was heard and immediately ran to check on his family. "Right after the explosion I thought everything was finished," he said. "I called my father's mobile phone number and my son answered and said: 'They killed grandpa'. He wanted me to bring the car and get him. We were running everywhere in search of my son but the police were stopping us and didn't let us get too close." After the burial ceremony of his grandfather we went to Ali's house but he wasn't able to talk. It seemed like the boy did not remember anything." REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File photo SEARCH "POY STORY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES.