1972 ‘Napalm Girl’ escorts Ukraine refugees to Canada

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FILE – 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, runs with her brothers and cousins, followed by South Vietnamese forces, down Route 1 near Trang Bang after a South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on its own troops and civilians, June 8, 1972. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. Known as the girl in the 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, Phan Thị Kim Phuc flew aboard an NGO plane from Warsaw on Monday accompanying almost 240 refugees from the war in Ukraine on a flight to safety in Canada. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Phan Thị Kim Phuc, the girl in the famous 1972 Vietnam napalm attack photo, on Monday escorted 236 refugees from Russia’s war in Ukraine on a flight from Warsaw to Canada.

Phuc’s iconic Associated Press photo in which she runs with her napalm-scalded body exposed, was etched on the private nongovernmental organization plane that is flying the refugees to the city of Regina, the capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

Kim, 59, a Canadian citizen, said she wants her story and work for refugees to be a message of peace. With her husband, Bui Huy Toan, she traveled from Toronto to board the humanitarian flight.

The refugees, mostly women and children from across Ukraine, are among thousands of Ukrainians that Canada has provided humanitarian visas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of their country. Millions of Ukrainians have fled since Russia attacked on Feb. 24. Almost 5.5 million have registered with humanitarian organizations in Europe, according to the U.N.

Canada is among many Western countries offering Ukrainian refugees safe haven.

The founder of the NGO Solidaire, Argentine philanthropist and pilot Enrique Pineyro, piloted the Boeing 787. Oscar Camps from the Spanish organization Open Arms was also aboard.

AP photographer Nick Ut took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Kim and other children fleeing a napalm attack in south Vietnam in June 1972.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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