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News Channels Air Old Images of Kabul Airport Linking Them to the Recent Blasts

Both the visuals are old and unrelated to the recent blasts in Afghanistan's Kabul on 26 August.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Old images from Kabul airport were falsely linked to the blasts that took place near the said location on 26 August.</p></div>
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Two images, showing smoke billowing in the background, are being massively shared on social media in the aftermath of the blast near the airport in Kabul.

The images are being said to be from the incident in the capital city of Afghanistan that claimed the lives of at least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops.

However, both the visuals are old with one dating back to August 2015 and the other to 16 August. One of the two images was also used by multiple news channels after the news broke.

Catch the live updates on the situation here.

CLAIM

Media outlet ABP News carried an image in its reportage on the blast that took place near the Kabul airport.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/6PKU-383M"><a href="https://archive.is/FWjfZ">here</a></a>.</p></div>

You can view the archived version here.

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

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Media outlets such as India Today and Republic also carried the image in their reports on the 26 August blast. However, India Today later took down its tweet.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, National Spokesperson of Shiromani Akali Dal, too, used the image in his tweet on the recent blast.

Another visual of smoke coming out of an area is being linked to the recent blast in Kabul, with many, including Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor-in-chief and CEO of Zee News, sharing it. However, Chaudhary later issued a correction about the same.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/6PKU-383M">here</a>.</p></div>

You can view the archived version here.

(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

The archived version of the posts shared by other social media users can be viewed here, here and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We found that both visuals are old and not related to the blasts that took place on 26 August. Let's take a look at them one by one.

IMAGE 1

We performed a Google reverse image search and came across an article published by Daily Mail on 16 August that carried the viral image and had credited it to news agency AFP via Getty Images.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The image was taken on 16 August.</p></div>

The image was taken on 16 August.

(Source: Daily Mail/ Screenshot)

The viral photo was uploaded on Getty Images with a caption that stated it was taken on 16 August at the Kabul airport.

"US soldiers stand guard as in the background Afghan people wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on 16 August 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule," the description along with the image read.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The image shows Afghan people waiting at the Kabul airport.</p></div>

The image shows Afghan people waiting at the Kabul airport.

(Source: Getty images/ Screenshot)

Since the viral image was taken on 16 August, it is unrelated to the blasts that hit Kabul on Thursday, 26 August.

IMAGE 2

A Google reverse image search led us to an article published by IBTimes on 10 August 2015 that carried the viral image and mentioned that it was taken at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul when a blast was reported its entrance.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The image was used in an article published in August 2015.</p></div>

The image was used in an article published in August 2015.

(Source: IBTimes/ Screenshot)

With the help of relevant keyword searches, we came across tweets carrying similar visuals that were shared by 1TV, an Afghanistan-based media outlet, in August 2015.

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/rq4k6">here</a>.</p></div>
  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/dzJ7J">here</a>.</p></div>
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A car bomb had exploded near the entrance of the Kabul airport with Taliban claiming responsibility for the same and said that it was targeting "foreign forces", Reuters had reported on 10 August 2015.

The news agency had captured visuals from the said incident and we were able to match the structure of the gate seen in the viral image with that of Reuters' photo.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Left: Viral image. Right: 2015 image.</p></div>

Left: Viral image. Right: 2015 image.

(Photo:Altered by The Quint)

At least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops were killed in at least two blasts near the Kabul airport on Thursday, 26 August. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, in which there were at least two suicide bombers. It said one of them targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army".

Evidently, old images from Kabul airport were falsely linked to the blasts that took place near the said location on 26 August.

(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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