The controversial online game "Blue Whale", which asks its players to commit suicide in the last round, has taken its toll on yet another child.
According to the Saudi Gazette, a 12-year-old Saudi boy named Abdul Rahman Al-Ahmari recently strangled himself to death as part of the game.
"My uncle's son, who is in sixth grade, recently passed away under the influence of a video game, which forced him to commit suicide by hanging himself in order to reach a new level. We belong to Allah and to him we shall return," Bin Fuhaid wrote on Twitter.
Bin Fuhaid told Al-Arabiya that his cousin was reportedly involved in a certain competition, adding that authorities are investigating the incident.
"A happy boy with a cheerful personality," says the father of the deceased child
The boy's father, Saad Al-Ahmari, said the family did not notice any strange behavior prior to the incident, adding that his son did not own a smartphone and only uses the family's computer.
"On the day of his death, he was fasting and broke his fast with us and then went to his room which is close by. Later, we were getting ready to visit some family members when suddenly we could not find Abdul Rahman. We started searching for him around the house and at the neighbors, to realize the shocking tragedy finding him strangled with the window curtain," he recalled in an interview with Al-Arabiya.
"My son was a happy boy with a cheerful personality, performing his prayers and was involved in football and electronic games," the grieving father added.
Al-Ahmari then called upon authorities to take immediate action and raise awareness against the dangers teenagers are faced with.
Not the first incident of its kind
First launched in Russia in 2013, the deadly online game asks players to complete 50 challenges over the course of 50 days, all of which encourage self-harm. The last challenge requires committing suicide.
The game is believed to have killed over 100 people since its launch.
Last August, a Siberian court sentenced the creator of the game, Philipp Budeikin, a 22-year-old Russian national, to three years in jail for "inciting Russian youths to kill themselves".
In an interview, Budeikin was asked if he intentionally pushed teenagers to commit suicide, to which he responded, "Yes. I truly was doing that. Don't worry, you'll understand everything. Everyone will understand", he said, according to the Times of India.
Arab teens have also fallen victims to the game. Earlier this year, a Moroccan undergraduate student committed suicide by jumping off a building rooftop to complete the final challenge of the game.
Five individuals had committed suicide in Algeria prior to the incident.