A Video claiming to show a Syrian boy rescuing a girl amid heavy gunfire and lauded as a heroic chronicle of resistance has now been revealed as 100% fraud.
The one-minute film appears to show the boy haul a girl to safety amid volleys of gunfire but it was performed by actors and was shot in Malta.
The video which has already had millions of views was later re-published on YouTube by Sham News Network, which is run by activists based in Damascus.
Several YouTube comments claimed the video was fake, but experts told The Telegraph they have no reason to doubt its authenticity.
The Mirror reports: the images, reported at the time to have been posted by Syrian anti-regime activists, were in fact shot by Norwegian film-makers on the holiday island of Malta.
Millions of YouTube viewers were captivated by the video which shows the brave boy haul the terrified girl to safety from behind a burnt-out truck.
In it, a middle-aged man escapes from a building in a deserted street to flee volleys of gunfire.
As the camera pans down the street, a boy, around eight years old, is seen getting up from the floor and moving towards the wreckage of the truck.
At one point he appears to be hit by a shot, suddenly falling to the ground.
He gets up again and darts behind the vehicle. He then emerges, dragging the young girl to safety by her hand.
But all is not as it seems.
Lars Klevberg, 34, from Oslo, devised the hoax after watching news coverage of the troubles in Syria.
He told BBC Trending: “If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope
“We shot it in Malta in May this year on a set that was used for other famous movies like Troy and Gladiator.
“The little boy and girl are professional actors from Malta. The voices in the background are Syrian refugees living in Malta.”
He added: “By publishing a clip that could appear to be authentic we hoped to take advantage of a tool that’s often used in war; make a video that claims to be real.
“We wanted to see if the film would get attention and spur debate, first and foremost about children and war.”
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