India Today ran an old photo of a US F-16 Fighting Falcon that had crash landed during a routine training flight in Arizona, United States, falsely claiming that it showed a Pakistani fighter jet shot down by resistance fighters in Panjshir, Afghanistan.
After the fall of Kabul on August 15, several anti-Taliban fighters and the remnants of the Afghan army amassed in Panjshir valley under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud and have been holding out in the province putting up a fight against the Taliban.
The photo was shared in the backdrop of the Taliban claiming that they had captured Panjshir Valley on Monday. Several Indian news outlets have reported the Pakistani military particularly its air force is helping the Taliban against resistance fighters in Panjshir.
The channel ran the photo claiming it was tweeted by Ahmad Massoud and showed a Pakistani jet shot down by resistance fighters in Panjshir
However, the Twitter handle (@Mohsood123) that tweeted the viral photo is suspected of being an imposter account as pointed by several Twitter users. Even the surname 'Massoud' is spelt incorrectly in the handle name as "Mohsood".
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BOOM found that the viral photo is from a US F-16 Fighting Falcon that had crash landed during a routine training flight in Arizona in April 2018.
On performing a reverse image search using Google Images, we found reports with the viral photo stating that a US F-16 Fighting Falcon from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, had crash landed during a routine training flight near the Arizona-California border on April 24, 2018.
In the 2018 report, we can spot the same viral photo aired by India Today during its broadcast.
Additionally, we also found a 2018 news report by ABC15 Arizona on the same incident, which reports on the crashed jet and also shows photos from different angle of the same jet in the viral photo.
On comparing the two, we can spot, that both photos are from the same 2018 incident. The fighter jet, pole and the background match as in the viral photo.
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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