No, Al Jazeera Did Not Report Taliban Deputy PM Mullah Baradar Killed
A spokesperson for Al Jazeera told BOOM that the viral news graphic was 'completely fabricated'.
A viral graphic claiming to be from Al Jazeera stating that acting Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was killed in Kabul in a power struggle within the Taliban, is fake.
A spokesperson for the Doha, Qatar-based news outlet told BOOM that the image is fake.
The Taliban recently announced a new interim 'government' in Afghanistan with names that include wanted terror suspects and Islamist hardliners. Baradar, who was among the original members of the group, was appointed as the acting first deputy prime minister in the new dispensation.
The Taliban recently dismissed rumours that Baradar was killed in a power struggle with the leader of the Haqqani Network, Anas Haqqani. In an audio message released by the Taliban claiming it is from Baradar, he can be heard dismissing reports of any death or injury as 'fake propaganda'.
The viral image, which sports the logo of Al Jazeera at the top left corner, has text that reads, "Breaking: Taliban spokesman confirms, Mullah Baradar killed, in Kabul last night."
The graphic is being shared online with the caption, "Aljazira: According to a Taliban spokesman, Mullah Baradar, the Taliban deputy prime minister, was killed in an inter-team confrontation over the selection of cabinet members. The accuracy of this news has not been confirmed by other official sources from the Taliban."
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Viral on Facebook
The same graphic is being shared on Facebook with the false claim
BOOM found that the viral graphic is fake. We did not find any such news report by Al Jazeera reporting that a Taliban spokesperson had confirmed to the news outlet that Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been killed.
"Al Jazeera confirms that the posting in question is completely fabricated. It has no connection of any kind to Al Jazeera or its editorial," Mohamad Sidi Baba, Head of Corporate Communication, Al Jazeera Media Network told BOOM in an email.
Additionally, on running a relevant keyword search, we did not find any such report, nor did we find any other credible news report quoting a Taliban spokesperson confirming that Baradar had been killed.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen had tweeted on September 13, 2021, claiming that Baradar had released an audio message stating that he is alive.
Afghan news outlet TOLOnews had also reported quoting a Taliban spokesperson who claimed that an audio message was released by Baradar confirming he is alive.
BOOM has been debunking viral misinformation and disinformation since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. You can view our fact-check articles in the thread below.