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Thursday
May092019

Afghan boy, wounded in war, dances on new prosthetic leg in heartwarming video

WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — Ahmad Rahman was just 8 months old when he was wounded in the crossfire between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in his village in Logar province.

A bullet struck Ahmad's leg, which later had to be amputated.

Ahmad, now 5, has been fitted for several prosthetic legs since then as he continues to grow. He received his latest one at the International Committee of the Red Cross orthopedic clinic in Kabul on May 4.

He celebrated by dancing.

Mulkara Rahimi, a physiotherapist at the clinic, filmed the joyful moment. The video shows Ahmad smiling from ear to ear as he steps to the beat of the music playing in the background, while waving his hands in the air.

Roya Musawi, a public relations officer for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, posted the video on Twitter. It had garnered over a million views by Thursday morning.

Ahmad is among at least 46,000 amputees in Afghanistan, a nation that has experienced four decades of continuous armed conflict. Many have been maimed by gunshot wounds, landmines and explosive remnants of war, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

There are roughly 14,000 American troops currently deployed in Afghanistan to support government forces and conduct counterterror operations. Despite efforts to bring a peaceful end to Afghanistan's 17-year-war, America's longest conflict, Taliban insurgents continue to carry out daily attacks on Afghan forces.

The fighting has killed or harmed thousands of civilians, according to the United Nations.

Last year, the International Committee of the Red Cross saw a record number of disabled Afghans -- more than 12,000 people -- seeking help for the first time at its physical rehabilitation centers in the country. The organization has run rehabilitation programs in Afghanistan for 30 years.

Some 1.5 million people of Afghanistan's estimated 33 million population live with some type of physical disability, according to a 2015 national survey.

"The record number of Afghans seeking rehabilitation assistance is a reflection of the huge levels of need," Alberto Cairo, physical rehabilitation program manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, said in a statement earlier this year. "Even with all of the people we helped, we aren't coming close to being able to assist everyone in need."

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