Satirical Article Shared as CNN 'Praising' Taliban For Wearing Masks

The Taliban captured Afghanistan's capital Kabul in 10 days on Sunday, 15 August, following 20 years of war.

3 min read
Satirical Article Shared as CNN 'Praising' Taliban For Wearing Masks

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An image of a satirical news article purportedly by news channel CNN is doing the rounds with the claim that while Taliban laid siege to Afghanistan, the international news channel 'praised' the group for wearing masks during the attacks.

However, we found that the news story was put together by a website called Babylon Bee, which describes itself as the 'world’s best satire site'.

This comes in the background of Taliban entering Kabul on Sunday, 15 August, which has led to the fall of the Ashraf Ghani government, who fled the war-torn country.



The photo was shared by film-maker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri on Twitter, along with a claim that read, "CNN praisses Taliban for wearing masks." The tweet has garnered nearly 5,000 likes at the time of writing this article.

An archive of the tweet can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Producer Ashoke Pandit also shared the photo along with a similar claim and the archived version can be found here. The claim is massively viral on Facebook and Twitter.

The photo is massively shared on Facebook.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Several social media users have shared the photo along with the claim and the archived versions can be accessed here, here and here.



We noticed that the screenshot that is being shared carried CNN's logo but the byline read "".

Byline shows 'BabylonBee' and not CNN. 

(Source: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

We then looked up 'Babylon Bee' and found the article posted on the home page of the website.

The website in it's 'about us' section mentions that it is the "world’s best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life."

The Twitter handle of the website, too, had shared the article and the bio of the handle reads, "Fake news you can trust".

Further, we looked for the photo and upon a reverse image search, we found the photo in a BBC article published on 15 August 2012. The caption of the photo read, "The Taliban overran Swat under the leadership of Maulana Fazlullah in 2007."

The article from BBC.

(Source: BBC/Screenshot)

Clearly, a photo from a satirical website has been massively shared by social media users in the backdrop of the Afghanistan crisis.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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Topics:  Afghanistan   Taliban   CNN 

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