2018 Photo of Afghan Man's Suicide Attempt Shared as Taliban Execution

It's a 2018 incident when one Shah Mahmood attempted suicide in front of the governor's office in Takhar.

2 min read
2018 Photo of Afghan Man's Suicide Attempt Shared as Taliban Execution

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An image is being shared on social media with the claim that it shows the Taliban executing a man in Afghanistan, in front of his crying child.

However, we found that the image dates back to 2018 and shows an incident where a man attempted suicide in Takhar province, Afghanistan in front of the governor's office.

Reports have identified the man as one Shah Mahmood, who said that he had to take the extreme step as the authorities were ignoring his complaint of someone "usurping his land."



The photo is being shared with a claim in English, which says "Saddest picture in a long time. An Afghan Kid crying seeing his father executed on the street by Islmic Terrorists Taliban. (sic)"

(Note: The image below may be distressing to some. Viewer's discretion is advised.)

An archived version of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

More claims across social media can be seen here, here and here.



A reverse image search led us to a 2018 report by Atlas Press, which carried the image and identified the man as one Shah Mahmood from Takhar province in Afghanistan who had attempted suicide in front of the governor's office.

The report carried the same photo as the claim.

(Photo: Atlas Press)

Using keywords such as "Takhar man suicide" (مرد تخار خودکشی کرد) in Persian and filtering results by date, we came across a BBC report which said that Mahmood had attempted to hang himself in front of the Takhar provincial administration building after his complaint had been "ignored" for four years.

This search also led us to a video report uploaded to Azadi Radio's verified YouTube page on 26 March 2018.

Clearly, a 2018 photo of a man from Afghanistan attempting suicide outside an administrative building was used to falsely claim that the Taliban had executed him on the street, in front of his child.

(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:  Execution   Afghanistan   Taliban 

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