FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show The Aftermath Of The Explosion At Kabul Airport?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows bloodied water from the aftermath of the recent suicide bombing attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Verdict: False

The photo shows a 2017 demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, not the aftermath of the recent explosion.

Fact Check:

An Aug. 26 explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, according to USA Today. The militant group Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), an Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the explosion, ABC News reported.

The Facebook image shows what appears to be a bloody body of water with sneakers in it. “Kabul Afghanistan,” reads the image’s caption. “Bloody water of innocent afghan civilian in evacuations to US. unfortunately they died in several suicide attack by ISIS.” (RELATED: Tweet Claims To Show ‘Live Picture’ Of The Aug. 26 Kabul Airport Attack)

The photo, however, is unrelated to the recent explosion in Kabul. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the image included in a blog post titled “Bloody sea; People are dying,” which explained that a political group in Afghanistan turned the Kabul river red in protest of the increase in civilian casualties from armed conflict in the country.

The river was dyed red by the political group Afghanistan 1400 in February 2017, over four years before the explosion in Kabul, according to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. Footage of the demonstration was posted on YouTube in February 2017 by the state-sponsored China Global Television Network.

Afghanistan 1400 is a “movement of young, well-educated Afghans who campaign for putting an end to the civil war in Afghanistan,” according to German news outlet Der Spiegel. A spokesperson for the group confirmed in a Facebook direct message to Check Your Fact that the image stemmed from the 2017 event and shows water turned red with dye, not blood.

“The photographer is someone named Eid Mohammad Rooish,” said the spokesperson. “This photo was first published by the daily Etilat e Roz.”

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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