The Twitter account of a seven-year-old Syrian girl, who garnered followers worldwide with her updates from Aleppo, became inactive on the micro-blogging site as government forces advance into the city's rebel-controlled areas.
Bana Alabed, whose @AlabedBana account was managed by her mother Fatemah, had close to 200,000 followers since joining the social media site in September. She posted pictures and videos of life during the nearly six-year conflict. The account garned international headlines, with the media calling Bana "the Anne Frank of our era," when it went dark over the weekend, but became active again Monday. Alabed's followers were relieved when the BBC reported she was safe.
Last week, Fatemah posted tweets, including a picture of Bana covered in dust, describing the bombardment of their house as government forces advanced on the eastern rebel-held parts of the city. She later told Reuters the family were staying with neighbours while they looked for another house.
- As Aleppo Is Crushed, No More Room for the Dead
- At Least 50 Killed in Airstrikes on Syria's Idlib Province
- Airstrike in Syria: Does Putin Care About Israel's Security Needs?
On Sunday, she told her followers in a tweet: "We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye. -Fatemah #Aleppo".
Reuters could not immediately independently verify what was described in the tweet. A search for the account on Monday revealed a message saying the page no longer existed, drawing concern from other Twitter users who began using the hashtag #WhereIsBana.
Residents of eastern Aleppo say communicating with the outside world has grown more difficult as Internet services have been knocked out during government advances.
"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, who together with her agent sent Bana eBooks about the boy wizard, also retweeted messages about Bana's account going silent.
Syrian government forces and their allies advanced into another rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, a rebel official and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday, as the army drew closer to opposition-held parts of the Old City.