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Al Jazeera Didn't Say Mullah Baradar Was Killed; Graphic is Fake

Contrary to the information in the viral photo, the Taliban has maintained that Mullah Baradar is alive and well.

Published
WebQoof
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Fact-Check | News organisation <em>Al Jazeera</em> didn't publish any report stating that Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was killed.</p></div>
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The screenshot of a "report" allegedly from news organisation Al Jazeera is doing the rounds on social media, which states that a Taliban spokesman had confirmed the death of acting Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul.

The viral claim comes days after unverified reports of Baradar's death were shared on various social media platforms.

However, we didn't find any such report on Al Jazeera's website. Contrary to the viral claim, Taliban spokesperson, Sulail Shaheen, had dismissed the rumours of Baradar's death on 13 September. Further, Baradar has reportedly appeared in a video interview to dismiss the rumours.

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CLAIM

The text in the screenshot said, "Breaking: Taliban spokesman confirms, Mullah Baradar killed, in Kabul last night."

The graphic had the logo of Al Jazeera on the top left corner and a photograph of Baradar.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/Q2GR-Y3GM">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

While some users shared the image without any comments, others said that the Baradar's killing might have been because of the power struggle over the selection of the cabinet.

Archives of more such posts on Facebook can be found here and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We conducted a keyword search for Baradar's death on Al Jazeera's website and didn't find any news report or coverage on the same.

We conducted a relevant keyword search on Google and still didn't find any credible news organisation reporting on Baradar's death or talking about a confirmation from a Taliban spokesperson.

We found a tweet by a Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen from 13 September, where he said that Baradar had released an audio message to inform people that he was alive and well.

Baradar reportedly also appeared in a video interview, which was posted on Wednesday, to dismiss the rumours.

Baradar's clarification came after unverified reports of his death were seen on social media with several people claiming that the acting Deputy PM was killed in a clash between members of The Taliban and the Haqqani Network, lead by Anas Haqqani.

Baradar, who is one of the founding member of the Taliban, was made the acting deputy PM on 7 September when the Taliban announced its interim government.

The Head of Corporate Communications for Al Jazeera, Mohamed Sidi Baba, confirmed to fact-checking organisation BOOM Live that the screenshot was "completely fabricated" and it didn't have any connection with the organisation or their editorial.

Clearly, a fabricated screenshot claiming to be from Al Jazeera news was shared to falsely claim that Afghan Deputy PM Mullah Baradar was killed in Kabul.

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(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 webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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