Tragic

Heartbreaking image of severely burned 4-year-old girl illustrates plight of Iraqis

The face of a badly burned 4-year-old girl, her melancholy eyes staring out from behind bandages into a camera lens, is becoming the face of the suffering of all Iraqis in the wake of a recent eruption of violence in the war-torn country. Little Asal Ahmed and her mother were shopping for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr at a mall in the Karradah district on the east bank of the Tigris River in Baghdad on July 3. Suddenly, a bomb exploded, destroying the shopping center and killing almost 300 people. Another 200 were wounded in the attack, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. It was the worst attack in Iraq in 13 years, The Associated Press reported, and Asal and her mom were two of those who suffered severe injuries, left badly burned by the blast.

Six days later, during a vigil held at the site of the deadly bombing, Asal’s father carried her in his arms. Hundreds of others on hand lit candles in tribute to the those killed and injured in the attack. Associated Press photographer Hadi Mizban captured the image of Asal, who looks badly wounded, her face covered in white bandages and only her eyes and lips exposed, but still as resolute as a 4-year-old who suffered horrific injuries can look.

Iraqis light candles on at the site of a suicide car bomb attack which took place early on July 3 in Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood killing nearly 300 people and wounding more than 200. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqis light candles on at the site of a suicide car bomb attack which took place early on July 3 in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood killing nearly 300 people and wounding more than 200. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s prime minister ordered new security measures in the neighborhood following the blast, and the U.S. said it was sending more troops to Iraq this week. That same day, another bombing at a Baghdad market claimed 12 more lives.

Read the full story at ABC News.

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