Media outlets ran a three year old photo as visuals of an explosion in a mosque in Kabul


An explosion occurred at a mosque in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on August 17, 2022. According to the Afghan police, a total of 21 people were killed and 33 were injured in the blast. After the news broke, a number of media outlets and social media users began sharing a purported photo of the blast in Kabul.

India Today aired the image in its live show as visuals from the recent explosion at a mosque in Kabul. (Archived link)

News agency ANI also tweeted the image in connection with the Kabul mosque explosion. It was also featured on the agency’s website as part of its coverage of the blast. (Archived link)

Hindustan Times also covered the explosion, attributing the same image to ANI. (Archived link)

Several media outlets such as the web portal of British newspaper The Guardian,, The Quint, India TV, The Times of India, News18 Assam, TV9 Bangla, NewsClick, Northeast Now, News Mobile, India Today Group’s news and opinions platform DailyO, and RSS mouthpiece Organiser Weekly among others carried the image with the same claim.

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Alt News performed a reverse image search of the viral picture. We found the source image in an article by the American news portal Vox. It was shared in connection with the Taliban’s attack on the Afghan capital on July 1, 2019. According to the caption, this picture shows the aftermath of the bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 1, 2019. This image is attributed to photojournalist Haroon Sabawoon and stock photo website Getty Images.

Using this as a clue, we looked for the viral image on Getty Images. Along with the image, It is mentioned that at least 10 people were killed and more than 65 were injured in this suicide bombing which occurred in July 2021. The photo is attributed to Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s state news agency, with Haroon Sabawoon listed as a contributor as well.

To sum it up, media outlets falsely shared a three-year-old picture of a bomb blast in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul as recent.

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