No, This Photo Doesn't Show Taliban Leader Inside Presidential Palace in Kabul

This photo from March shows the Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar arrive in Moscow for a peace conference.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The photo claims that the Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has entered the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.</p></div>

A photo is being circulated on social media with a claim that Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has entered the presidential palace of Afghanistan in Kabul.

However, we found that the photo is from March this year when Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar had arrived with members of the Taliban delegation for an international peace conference in Moscow, Russia.



The photo is shared along with the claim, "Leader of Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has entered the presidential palace of Afghanistan with the help of Qatar & green light of United States. He is now negotiating with Ashraf Ghani. Ghani will resign & Baradar will become president of the Afghanistan."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="">here</a>.&nbsp;</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

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


When we closely looked at the image, it had the watermark of AP, ie, news wire Associated Press.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>AP watermark in the image.</p></div>

AP watermark in the image.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We then conducted a reverse image search on the photo on Google and found the image in an article on 'Voa News'.

The caption read, "Taliban political deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, center, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for an Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia, 18 March 2021."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Screenshot from VOA News.</p></div>

Screenshot from VOA News.

(Source: Voa News/Screenshot)

Further, we looked for the image in AP archives and found it there.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Photo from AP archives.</p></div>

Photo from AP archives.

(Source: AP/Screenshot)

The Quint's WebQoof team has earlier also debunked a video that claimed to show the Taliban 'taking over Presidential palace in Kabul'.


It must be noted that Abdul Ghani Baradar had arrived in Kabul on Saturday, 21 August, for talks on establishing a new "inclusive" government in Afghanistan, as reported by news agency AFP.

He had arrived in Afghanistan on 17 August for the first time in more than two decades from Qatar. The move followed the Taliban seizing control of the region as President Ashraf Ghani fled from the country on August 15.

Clearly, although the Taliban co-founder Baradar is in Afghanistan, this photo doesn't show he and his delegates entering the presidential palace in Kabul.


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