The image does not show the recent blast in the mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A massive explosion struck a mosque in northern Kabul in Afghanistan on Wednesday, 17 August, during evening prayers, killing at least 21 people and injuring several others.
The Taliban intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters that the explosion occurred in a mosque among worshippers in Khair Khana area of Kabul.
Several social media users have shared images of this blast praying for the souls of the ones who lost their lives.
Amidst this, a report by the Guardian carried an image claimed that it shows the visuals from the recent August 17, 2022 blast in Afghanistan’s capital. We found several media organizations such as India Today; Hindustan Times; Times of India have also shared the same image. Wire agency Asian News International (ANI) has also published this image stating that it shows the recent mosque explosion at Kabul, Afghanistan.
In a story about the blast, The Guardian published the image with a caption that stated, “A Taliban intelligence officer said the explosion occurred in a mosque in the Khair Khana area of Kabul. Photograph: Twitter”.
India Today published ground report from the blast and shared the same image as a recent footage from Afghanistan. Their reporter can be heard saying, “We were the only channel present on the spot when this blast took place in a mosque.”
A simple reverse image search led us to the stock images website called Getty Images. According to the description of the image, the image dates back to 1 July 2019 from Kabul. The caption states, “Smoke rises from the scene of a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 01, 2019. At least 10 people were killed and 65 more injured in a suicide bombing, followed by gunfight at a Defense Ministrys installation in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, officials and local media confirmed.”
Haroon Sabawoon clicked the image who is a photographer for Anadolu Agency.
Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search on Google to find relevant news reports about this blast. According to Vox, the Taliban took responsibility for a multifaceted strike in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, which included a car bomb and a lengthy gunfight. A private war museum, a television station, schools, and sports agencies were damaged by the Taliban’s blast.
The New York Times also credited the image published in 2019 to photojournalist Haroon Sabawoon for Turkish wire agency Anadolu. The report stated that the complex Taliban attacked included a car-bombing and militant assault killed at least 40 people in Kabul. A senior Kabul defense official put the death toll at six security force members, with an additional 20 of them wounded, and 34 civilians, with at least 63 civilians wounded, a toll that rose later.
A Taliban official in the statement to the Reuters said, “The target was the defence ministry’s technical installation.”
What happened in Kabul recently?
The above evidences makes it very clear that the image published by the Guardian and other media organizations such as India Today, Hindustan Times and Times of India does not show the recent blast in the mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. The image dates back to 2019 when the Taliban had attacked the defence ministry’s installation. Fact Crescendo found the claim made along with the viral image to be misleading and false.
Title:India Today, the Guardian shares 2019 image as recent blast in Kabul
Fact Check By: Drabanti Ghosh