The “napalm girl”, iconic photo of the Vietnam War, is 50 years old

The “napalm girl”, iconic photo of the Vietnam War, is 50 years old

If there is an iconic photo representing the horror of the Vietnam War, it is this one: the one which represents a naked girl running on a road on which a napalm bomb has just fallen. This photo was taken on June 8, 1972, 50 years ago.

Kim Phuc Phan Thi is 9 years old and on this day she runs on a road to escape the bombardment by the American army of her village Trảng Bang. She is burned by the flames which consume her clothes and reach her neck, her back and her left arm.

Napalm is jelly-like gasoline that has been used in incendiary bombs (and flamethrowers), among other things. Its formula has been developed so that it ignites at a certain temperature while sticking to clothing or objects. A 1980 United Nations convention prohibits its use against civilian populations.

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