Old Image Of Symbolic Protest Viral As Kabul Blast

BOOM found that the photo from 2017 shows an initiative from Afghanistan where young people had dyed Kabul river red to protest the death of civilians

An image of what appears to show shoes floating in a pool of blood is viral on social media with false claims that it shows the aftermath of the multiple Kabul airport explosions that occurred on August 26 .

BOOM found that the image is from 2017 when an organisation had held a symbolic protest against the number of civilian casualties of the country

More than 170 people were killed, including 13 US soldiers at the Kabul airport on August 26, 2021 following explosions targeting foreign nationals and Afghans fleeing the country after the Taliban militia's armed takeover of Afghanistan. The Islamic State (IS) -Khorasan, the Afghan unit of IS and an arch rival of the Islamist Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. While the Taliban condemned the blast, US President Joe Biden warned the attackers of retaliation.

The photo is captioned on Twitter as, "The Pic of bloody water after the explosions in Kabul. Where is humanity now".


Click here to see an archive of the tweet.

Fahim Abed, a journalist with The New York Times based in Kabul, also tweeted the photograph with a caption, "No matter who is in control, the bloodshed in Afghanistan won't stop and the killings of Afghans will continue. The cheapest blood around the globe."


Click here to see an archive of the post.

Also Read: Indian News Channels Run Old Photos, Videos As Kabul Airport Terror Attack

Fact Check

BOOM ran a reverse image search on the photograph and found it on a 2017 blog post. The blog post led us to an article published by an Afghan media outlet Etilaatroz , which carried the same picture.

Source: Etilaatroz

We used Google Translator to translate the article from Persian to English. According to the translation, the image is from a symbolic protest movement which happened in Kabul against the mass casualties of civilians after United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) annual report on civilian casualties.

To confirm this, BOOM reached out to Jalil Pazhwak, a translator with Etilaatroz, on Twitter. Pazhwak confirmed to BOOM that the photograph is from February 2017. Pazhwak said that the image shows a protest from 'Afghanistan 1400', an initiative where young people had dyed Kabul river red to protest against the war and the deaths.

A Tolo news article published on February 10, 2017 reported about the event, Afghanistan 1400, a political movement of the country's new generation. An excerpt of the report reads, "Organizers of the event poured red dye into Kabul River to depict a river of blood – so as to show the horrors of the war. Organizers of the movement said that by depicting a river of blood, they were not only showing the reality of the situation but also calling on the warring parties to stop killing innocent civilians and bring an end to the war."

Also Read: Over 100 Killed In Kabul Airport Attack, ISIS-K Claims Responsibility

Claim Review :   Photo shows horrific condition after recent blast in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  False
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