Syrian Children Hold Pictures of Pokemon to Get Found: Report

'I never imagined we would like to become a game in order to gain the world’s attention'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2016 4:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Children in war-torn Syria are holding pictures of Pokemon in the hopes the rest of the world, currently obsessing over Pokemon Go, will take notice, the Independent reports. According to Vocativ, photos of the children started circulating online Wednesday, the same day airstrikes in the city of Idlib killed more than 50 people. In addition to pictures of Pokemon, the children's signs bear messages like "I am here, come save me" along with their location. Most of the children appear to be near Idlib and another city, Hama, the Guardian reports. Those cities have seen years of fighting between the Syrian government and opposition forces. “I never imagined we would like to become a game in order to gain the world’s attention,” Vocativ quotes a Twitter account called Children of Syria.

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The photos originally appeared on a Facebook page belonging to the Revolutionary Forces of Syria, and they bear that opposition group's logo. They have also been circulated by other groups connected to the opposition against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. It's possible they are simply meant as propaganda. If that's the case, they are effective attention-getters. “The world is buzzing with this game,” Vocativ quotes a Syrian artist who is also using Pokemon Go to draw attention to Syria. “They are looking for the Pokemon, but the Syrian people are looking for how to live right now.” Syria's children are in a desperate situation. UNICEF says 35,000 children are trapped in the city of Manbij alone and dozens more have been killed there in recent weeks. (Read more Syria stories.)

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