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  1. ITV Report

Syrian boy's fight for life as Assad fights on

As Syria's president voted in today's elections in Damascus less than ten miles away, an 11-year-old boy was left fighting for his life in a rebel held suburb of the city.

The boy was hit in an airstrike by government forces in Douma, the opposition said.

He was filmed by a cameraman working for ITV News in a filthy, makeshift hospital where medical staff amputated his leg to save his life.

The boy was treated in a makeshift hospital with blood on the ground. Credit: ITV News

Douma residents said the shelling by Assad's army was a retaliation for a rebel attack on a polling station in the capital.

Today's injury is not Saleh Masmood's first in the three-year civil war that has torn his country and family apart.

Warning: Contains distressing images

He was wounded one year ago and sustained a serious injury to his right leg. Today, he lost his left leg.

His mother died six months ago, after failing to receive the necessary treatment for her cancer, and his father has been detained in a regime prison for the past two years.

The boy lost both his parents during the conflict. Credit: ITV News

He has a younger sister and brother, and together they live with his uncle, who has taken on the responsibility of raising the orphans.

His uncle told ITV News that anyone who could think of re-electing Assad is worse than the president himself.

Saleh had to have his left leg amputated. Credit: ITV News

Airstrikes were reported across rebel held areas of the country today, as Syrians voted in the first multi-candidate presidential elections held in the country for 50 years.

The elections have been called a "tragic parody of democracy" and have been denounced by the US, the UK, and European and Arab countries, as well as Syrians, as a farce.

Syria's two main internal opposition parties have boycotted the elections, while rebels have staged mock polls where they are voting for their dead relatives.

Read: Syrians mock 'farce' elections by voting for their dead

President Assad is widely expected to win another seven-year term in today's vote.

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