FACT CHECK: Tweet Claims To Show ‘Live Picture’ Of The Aug. 26 Kabul Airport Attack

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A viral tweet claims to show a “live picture” of the Aug. 26 attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Verdict: False

The picture, which dates back to 2015, shows a different attack in Kabul that the Taliban took credit for.

Fact Check: 

A bombing, which the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan took credit for, killed 13 U.S. service members and over 100 Afghan civilians at Kabul’s crowded airport Thursday, NBC News reported. 18 U.S. service members also sustained injuries in the terrorist attack, according to The New York Times.

Shortly after news of Thursday’s attack at the airport broke, Twitter users began sharing a photo of a large grey smoke cloud billowing up with a road in the foreground, claiming it depicted the aftermath. That is, however, inaccurate.

The picture predates the Aug. 26 Kabul airport attack by over six years, Check Your Fact learned through a reverse image search. The Afghan television station 1TV News shared a more zoomed-out version of the photo on Twitter in August 2015.

“New details: The blast was powerful and the suicide bomber is said to have targeted two armored vehicles carrying government officials,” reads a translation of the tweet.

On Aug. 10, 2015, a car bomb near the Kabul airport killed five people and wounded 16 others, France 24 reported. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with a spokesperson for the militant group saying it was targeting “foreign forces,” according to the outlet.

Social media users have been sharing various images with captions that falsely link them to the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. For instance, a viral photo purportedly showing an Indian Air Force plane airlifting Afghans from Kabul actually depicts Filipino residents being evacuated after a 2013 typhoon.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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