Afghan child skipping on Belgian tarmac takes the world by storm

A photo of a family evacuated from Afghanistan to Belgium has gone viral on social media. Incredibly, a photoshopped version of the snap has also been produced showing weapons in the parents’ baggage.

The original photo was taken as the family walked on the tarmac of Melsbroek military airport after their evacuation flight.  Johanna Geron of Reuters took the photo.  It has been published in countries across the globe: in India, Mongolia and Portugal.  The Arabic broadcaster Alhurra even reported on it.

The photo showing a girl skipping behind her parents on the tarmac will be remembered by many and was even tweeted by Belgian asylum secretary Mahdi.

Sadly, the image has also been manipulated.  It’s thought by people worried about the security screening of refugees. Russian broadcaster RT wondered if some terrorists weren’t getting a free ride from Afghanistan. The photoshopped photo tweeted by RT shows the family with rucksacks with machine guns, a grenade launcher and even sticks of dynamite poking out.

Johanna Geron's original photo taken at Melsbroek on 25 August 2021 (Source: Reuters)
RT's manipulated photo (Source: Twitter)

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