Hindi news channel TV9 Bharatvarsh aired modified visuals of a video game ARMA-3 claiming it shows Pakistan's drone attack on Panjshir, Afghanistan, after the Taliban militia reportedly captured the northeastern province on September 6, 2021.
BOOM found that the video shows visuals of ground and aerial attack made as modification to the video game ARMA 3.
The same visuals were earlier aired by TV9 Bharatvarsh as footage showing the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on October 9, 2020. Read BOOM's debunk here.
International news outlets quoted the chief spokesperson of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, and reported that Panjshir valley was completely captured by the militia, overthrowing the resistance fighters. However, the National Resistance Front (NRF) spokesman maintained that the Taliban's claim of victory was false and the resistance forces, led by Ahmad Massoud, have been continuing with their fight. Reports further claimed that the Pakistani military, particularly its air force, has been helping the Taliban against the NRF in Panjshir.
In this context TV9 Bharatvarsh aired the visuals of ground and aerial attack made as modification to the video game ARMA 3 as proof of drone attack by Pak air force. Nishant Chaturvedi, senior executive editor, can be heard saying in Hindi, "The Pakistani military and Taliban are together. They are two sides of the same coin. Pak Air Force and drones have attacked Panjshir throughout the night." As the show moved to a debate on the same topic, visuals of an already debunked video that shows a US Air Force fighter jet training in Wales, United Kingdom and a footage of the video game ARMA 3 were aired.
At 5:24 time stamp he says, "You will be shocked to see these visuals. First evidence of Pakistan taking part in war of Panjshir. This is big news. Pakistan's drone dropped bombs at Panjshir's Northern Alliance…" The same visuals were repeatedly aired till 10 minutes 25 seconds.
Chaturvedi also tweeted the visuals aired on his show and captioned the tweet as, "Think about it ! #PakistanArmy has been helping #Talibanis all through this #Afghanistan war but no one from the international community is speaking against it ! In #FATF will #pakistan pay the price for helping #Taliban"
The tweet is archived here.
The same visuals from 4 seconds to 1:24 were also aired on Prime Time Debate on TV9 Bharatvarsh. See the Facebook live video below.
BOOM ran reverse image searches of key frames from the video and found that it has been available on YouTube since August 2020.
The video was uploaded on August 22, 2020 with the title, "A-10 Warthog Thunderbolt CRAM" (Sic). The description stated that it is linked with ARMA 3, an open-world, realism-based, military tactical shooter video game. The game was released by Bohemia Interactive and is set in 2030, where one can undertake various futuristic military operations through the fictitious character US Corporal Ben Kerry.
The video used by TV9 Bharatvarsh has been customised by gamers and not part of an original game play. Gamers can use game editors to make custom player modifications, and thus it cannot be found in any part of the original game.
Visuals between the timestamp 0:13 to 0:20 of the YouTube footage matches with the visuals broadcasted by TV9 Bharatvarsh. Below is a comparison of the same.
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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