A huge explosion hit a mosque in Kabul on Wednesday which, as per the police, killed at least 21 people and injured another 33. Witnesses described hearing a powerful explosion which shattered windows in nearby buildings. Several images and visuals are circulating on social media platforms, showing videos from the blast site. One such image of dense smoke rising from what appears to be an explosion site with a mountain range in the distant background, is going viral claiming to show the recent Kabul blast. Newschecker found the image to be old and unrelated to the explosion that rocked the Afghan capital yesterday.
In a tweet, news agency ANI used the image claiming to show the recent explosion at Kabul mosque. On the website, it captioned the image “One of the Afghan users tweeted this photo on Wednesday,” in a report detailing the blast. Hindustan Times also featured the viral image in a report titled “Blast at Kabul mosque in pictures: Top Islamic cleric among at least 20 dead.”
Newschecker ran a Yandex reverse image search on the viral picture that is being shared to show the recent blast in Kabul, which led us to a report by Afghanistan-based Ariana News, dated December 14, 2021. Displaying the viral image, the report elaborated on an explosion in the Tank-e-Logar area of Kabul’s PD8 in December last year. Notably, the featured image carried a watermark saying “Archive” on the bottom right corner, indicating that it was not recently clicked.
Following this, we conducted a Google reverse image search on the viral picture along with the keywords “Kabul” & “blast” and found a report by Vox, dated July 1, 2019 with the title “The Taliban has launched a major attack in Afghanistan’s capital.” The report featured the viral image and elaborated on an attack by the Taliban in Kabul.
The caption of the image read, “Smoke rises from the scene of a bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 1, 2019.” It was credited to Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Taking a clue, we looked up for the same on Getty images website and found the image with the caption “KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – JULY 01: 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 Ministry installation in the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday, officials and local media confirmed.”
Several media outlets had reported on the Taliban attack -including a car-bombing and militant assault- in Kabul on July 1, 2019. Reportedly, the attack was carried out at the time when the Taliban and US were engaged in deliberations in Qatar over the Afghan issue. You can reach such reports here, here and here.
Viral posts claiming to show visuals from the recent blast at a mosque in Kabul are false. The image is old and unrelated to the explosion in Afghan’s capital on August 17, 2022.
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