Hindi news channel Zee Hindustan aired a one year old video of a minor girl in a colourful head scarf firing from a machine gun and laughing at the camera claiming it is recent from the ongoing resistance against the Taliban in Panjshir, Afghanistan.
The channel which aired the video LIVE falsely claimed that it shows children in Panjshir province of Afghanistan, the only area not in Taliban control, taking up weapons and firing at the Taliban.
After the fall of Kabul on August 15, several anti-Taliban fighters and the remnants of Afghan army have amassed in Panjshir valley under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud and have been holding out in the province putting up a fight against Taliban.
The channel which ran the video as an 'exclusive' claimed, "Innocent children in Panjshir have taken up arms against Taliban. The children have picked up weapons to give a befitting reply to Taliban". Calling her "Panjshir ki maasom" in the caption, the channel tweeted the video.
You can watch the full broadcast below
The same video was tweeted by Faran Jeffrey, from his handle @natsecjeff. Jeffrey who is based in the United Kingdom, describes himself as an expert in reporting and analysing terror incidents and conflicts tweeted the video claiming, "One of the problems that Afghanistan - and by extension the Taliban regime - will have to tackle is the weaponization of the Afghan society. This kind of weaponization eventually leads to civil war. And that's an actual possibility, considering the circumstances."
While he did not clarify that the video is in fact old, Jeffrey later said, "And before people start circulating this video with wrong captions, I should probably caption it: Just a little old video of a local girl playing with a machine gun somewhere in AfPak region. Nothing to do with any group or regime. Just a random video via an Afghan TG channel."
The video was also viral on Facebook in August with a claim that it shows "viral video of Taliban kid girl with machine gun"
BOOM found that the video is at least a year old, with the earliest upload from January 2020 and is not a recent video from Panjshir in Afghanistan as being claimed by Zee Hindustan.
We ran a reverse image search using a key frame from the video and found a Facebook upload from January 2020 with the text - 'Angel baby with dangerous weapon. Self defence is 1st demand.'
View post here
We also found a January 28, 2020 tweet with the same video
We noticed replies on Twitter identifying the language of the song played in the video as Balochi and using that as a clue, we looked for Balochi girl + machine gun and found a YouTube matching the video.
The video was uploaded by a channel called Daughter of Baloch on January 26, 2020
While BOOM could not independently verify the location of the video, we were able to ascertain that it is old and not from the recent violence reported in Panjshir, Afghanistan.
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.
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