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Vietnamese girl running naked from napalm attack voted most powerful news image of the last 50 years

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The striking image of a nine-year-old girl running naked from a napalm attack during the Vietnam war has been voted the most powerful news image of the last 50 years.

The horrific 1972 photograph, taken by photographer Nick Ut of Kim Phuc, was published around the world and is credited for having helped end the conflict in Vietnam.

It was chosen by 37 per cent of British voters in a new survey as the hardest hitting news image of the last five decades.

Second on the list with 35 per cent was the heart-breaking and harrowing image of three-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed up on a beach in Turkey.

Aylan’s family had left Bodrum in Turkey on September 2, 2015, hoping to get to the Greek island of Kos but their small boat capsized just 30 minutes into their journey. 

Other nominated images in the list include Nelson Mandela leaving prison after 27 years in 1990, Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in 1969, Charles and Diana kissing on their wedding day and the lone protester defiantly confronting a Chinese tank the day after the government brutally put down a protest in Tiananmen Square in 1989. 

Nearly half of people – 46 per cent – of those polled by TV channel HISTORY admitted they felt emotionally moved by the picture of ‘Napalm Girl’ Kim Phuc, 44 per cent admitted the photo of Aylan Kurdi prompted a visceral, gut reaction, while a quarter of those polled were moved by the picture of Davinia Douglass after the 7/7 Edgware Road bombings in London. 

South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including nine-year-old Kim Phuc (centre) as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children (left to right) are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division

South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including nine-year-old Kim Phuc (centre) as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children (left to right) are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division

A Chinese man standing alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing's Cangan Boulevard in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. The Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration for democratic reform and against government corruption, killing hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of demonstrators in the strongest anti-government protest since the 1949 revolution. Ironically, the name Tiananmen means 'Gate of Heavenly Peace'. This striking image received 23 per cent of the HISTORY channel vote

A Chinese man standing alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Boulevard in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. The Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration for democratic reform and against government corruption, killing hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of demonstrators in the strongest anti-government protest since the 1949 revolution. Ironically, the name Tiananmen means ‘Gate of Heavenly Peace’. This striking image received 23 per cent of the HISTORY channel vote

Buzz Aldrin seen walking on the surface of the Moon in 1969. On the morning of July 16, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins sat atop the Saturn V at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The three-stage 363-foot rocket used its 7.5 million pounds of thrust to propel them into space and into history for the first Moon landing. This iconic image got 23 per cent of the vote

Buzz Aldrin seen walking on the surface of the Moon in 1969. On the morning of July 16, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins sat atop the Saturn V at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The three-stage 363-foot rocket used its 7.5 million pounds of thrust to propel them into space and into history for the first Moon landing. This iconic image got 23 per cent of the vote

Paul Dadge (right) helping injured tube passenger Davinia Turrell away from Edgware Road tube station in London following an explosion on July 7, 2005. The explosion destroyed a double-decker bus in central London during rush hour followed by two other blasts on other buses. The explosion near Russell Square occurred not long after blasts on the London tube. A witness said the entire top deck of that bus was destroyed. This picture got 18 per cent of the vote

Paul Dadge (right) helping injured tube passenger Davinia Turrell away from Edgware Road tube station in London following an explosion on July 7, 2005. The explosion destroyed a double-decker bus in central London during rush hour followed by two other blasts on other buses. The explosion near Russell Square occurred not long after blasts on the London tube. A witness said the entire top deck of that bus was destroyed. This picture got 18 per cent of the vote 

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Prince Charles kissing his new bride, the former Diana Spencer, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, after their wedding on July 29, 1981. The couple broke with tradition and removed the antiquated 'obey' line in their vows. Though Charles forgot to seal his vows to Diana with a kiss, the prince made up for it hours later when he and Diana began a new tradition that other newly wed royal couples followed - kissing in public view on the Buckingham Palace balcony. This pictured got 11 per cent of the vote

Prince Charles kissing his new bride, the former Diana Spencer, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, after their wedding on July 29, 1981. The couple broke with tradition and removed the antiquated ‘obey’ line in their vows. Though Charles forgot to seal his vows to Diana with a kiss, the prince made up for it hours later when he and Diana began a new tradition that other newly wed royal couples followed – kissing in public view on the Buckingham Palace balcony. This pictured got 11 per cent of the vote 

Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, walk hand in hand, raising their clenched fists upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town. He was release on February 11, 1990 after 27 years in detention. Mandela was previously held at the notorious Robben Island before the fall of apartheid in South Africa. He went on o be the country's first black head of state in 1994. On December 5, 2013, the country's state broadcaster announced the 95-year-old former president had died at his home in Johannesburg. This image received 23 per cent of the vote in the HISTORY poll

Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, walk hand in hand, raising their clenched fists upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town. He was release on February 11, 1990 after 27 years in detention. Mandela was previously held at the notorious Robben Island before the fall of apartheid in South Africa. He went on o be the country’s first black head of state in 1994. On December 5, 2013, the country’s state broadcaster announced the 95-year-old former president had died at his home in Johannesburg. This image received 23 per cent of the vote in the HISTORY poll

The lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi from the sea shore, near the beach resort of Bodrum, Turkey, on September 2, 2015. A number of migrants were known to have died and some were reported missing, after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized. The picture taken by Turkish journalist Nilufer Demir was posted on social media, causing a massive surge in donations to charities helping migrants and refugees, with one charity, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, recording a 15-fold increase in donations within 24 hours of its publication. An overwhelming 96 per cent of the people polled insisted journalists should show an image which shocks us, if it changes the world or the way we think about the world

The lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi from the sea shore, near the beach resort of Bodrum, Turkey, on September 2, 2015. A number of migrants were known to have died and some were reported missing, after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized. The picture taken by Turkish journalist Nilufer Demir was posted on social media, causing a massive surge in donations to charities helping migrants and refugees, with one charity, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, recording a 15-fold increase in donations within 24 hours of its publication. An overwhelming 96 per cent of the people polled insisted journalists should show an image which shocks us, if it changes the world or the way we think about the world

US President Ronald Reagan winces and raises his left arm as he was shot by an assailant as he left the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981, after making a speech to a labour group. The president was shot in the upper left side but survived the assassination attempt. Reagan was seriously wounded by the .22 Long Rifle bullet that ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and hit him in the left underarm, breaking a rib, puncturing a lung and causing serious internal bleeding. Although 'close to death' when he arrived at George Washington University Hospital, Reagan was stabilised in the emergency room. This image received eight per cent of the vote

US President Ronald Reagan winces and raises his left arm as he was shot by an assailant as he left the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981, after making a speech to a labour group. The president was shot in the upper left side but survived the assassination attempt. Reagan was seriously wounded by the .22 Long Rifle bullet that ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and hit him in the left underarm, breaking a rib, puncturing a lung and causing serious internal bleeding. Although ‘close to death’ when he arrived at George Washington University Hospital, Reagan was stabilised in the emergency room. This image received eight per cent of the vote

A member of the Arab Commando group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic team and held them hostage at their quarters at the Munich Olympic Village appearing wearing a hood over his face on the balcony of the village building. The siege led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes killed by the Palestinian Black September militant group during the 1972 Munich Olympics. This pictures got 13 per cent of the vote

A member of the Arab Commando group which seized members of the Israeli Olympic team and held them hostage at their quarters at the Munich Olympic Village appearing wearing a hood over his face on the balcony of the village building. The siege led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes killed by the Palestinian Black September militant group during the 1972 Munich Olympics. This pictures got 13 per cent of the vote

An unidentified detainee standing on a box with a bag on his head and wires attached to him in late 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. Years after being released by the US military, former detainees held in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base suffered debilitating injuries and mental disorders from their interrogation and alleged torture, according to a report by a human rights group in 2008. This image received 14 per cent of the vote

An unidentified detainee standing on a box with a bag on his head and wires attached to him in late 2003 at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq. Years after being released by the US military, former detainees held in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay Naval Base suffered debilitating injuries and mental disorders from their interrogation and alleged torture, according to a report by a human rights group in 2008. This image received 14 per cent of the vote 

Sim Harris, the BBC sound man (left) leaping to safety from the Iranian Embassy in London on May 5, 1980, as the siege is brought to a close by the action of the police and units of the SAS, one of whom can be seen at right of the image holding a machine gun. The gunmen, members of Arabs of KSA group campaigning for Arab sovereignty in the southern Iranian region of Khuzestan Province, took 26 people hostage, mostly embassy staff and several visitors, as well as a police officer who had been guarding the embassy. This picture received 10 per cent of the vote

Sim Harris, the BBC sound man (left) leaping to safety from the Iranian Embassy in London on May 5, 1980, as the siege is brought to a close by the action of the police and units of the SAS, one of whom can be seen at right of the image holding a machine gun. The gunmen, members of Arabs of KSA group campaigning for Arab sovereignty in the southern Iranian region of Khuzestan Province, took 26 people hostage, mostly embassy staff and several visitors, as well as a police officer who had been guarding the embassy. This picture received 10 per cent of the vote 

Moors murder Myra Hindley's police mug shot was also nominated as one of the most powerful news images of the last 50 years. In partnership with Ian Brady, the couple carried out the sexual assaults and murders of five children around Manchester between 1963 and 1965. She was found guilty and jailed in 1966 and died in prison in 2002 aged 60. The (above) picture received 17 per cent of the vote

Moors murder Myra Hindley’s police mug shot was also nominated as one of the most powerful news images of the last 50 years. In partnership with Ian Brady, the couple carried out the sexual assaults and murders of five children around Manchester between 1963 and 1965. She was found guilty and jailed in 1966 and died in prison in 2002 aged 60. The (above) picture received 17 per cent of the vote

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