A set of old and unrelated photos from Pakistan and Syria are viral on social media with false captions claiming that they show the condition of a 'civil-war torn Karachi'.
BOOM found that the pictures are old and do not show the present-day situation in the Pakistani city. We also found that some of the pictures in the viral post are not from Karachi.
The pictures are viral in the backdrop of recent political crisis in Pakistan. Read more about it here.
Ramesh Mendola, BJP MLA from Indore, shared the same set of images with a Hindi caption translating to 'Karachi is burning in Civil war since the last two days. The police of Sindh and the Pakistani army have had a standoff. There are blasts everyday but why are none of our news channels showing this news?'.
(Hindi: कराची दो दिनों से सिविल वार की आग में झुलस रहा है। सिंध प्रांत की पुलिस और पाकिस्तान की सेना आमने सामने खड़ी है। रोज धमाके हो रहे है पर हमारा कोई न्यूज़ चैनल ये खबर क्यों नहीं दिखा रहा ?)
The same set of images is viral on Twitter with a caption reading 'Karachi condition after overnight civil war. Very sad. Plz raise voice for our sindh police and karachi people (Sic)'.
BOOM did a reverse image search on all the pictures separately and tracked them to their original incidents.
A reverse image search on the picture led us to a 2013 article published in the Independent. The report published on September 30, 2013, under the headline Pakistan car bomb blast: Attack on Peshawar's oldest market kills 37 carried the same image and stated that the photo was taken in the aftermath of the blast in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Taking cue from the article, we did a search with relevant keywords and found the same photograph published in Outlook photo gallery on Peshawar. The same photograph had been published in an article by CNN on September 29, 2013, where the credit for the photo was given to Mohammad Sajjad of Associated Press.
On the AP website, we found that the original image is from September 29, 2013 and it is not from Karachi but Peshawar.
A close look at the picture shows the watermark of AFP/Getty on the top-right corner. A reverse image search led us to an article published by CNN on December 29, 2009, about a suicide attack in Karachi.
Since the watermark has mentioned Getty Images, we looked up the website and found the photo there.
The caption with the photo reads: Pakistani security officials inspect the bomb blast site after the explosion during the religious procession in Karachi on December 28, 2009. A suicide bomber struck Pakistan's largest procession of Shiite Muslims on the holiest day in their calendar, killing 20 people and wounding dozens more, defying a major security clampdown. The blast unleashed pandemonium in one of the biggest boulevards in the Pakistani financial capital, Karachi where angry mourners threw stones and opened fire into the air, sparking appeals from the authorities for calm. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN (Photo credit should read ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images).
BOOM ran a reverse image search and found an article published by Pakistani news website Samaa TV on March 8, 2016.
While the article uses the photograph in a video slide format, it does not clarify the place it was clicked. The article states about the 2009 'Ashura Blast' but doesn't mention when was the photograph clicked.
Taking cue from the Samaa TV article, we ran keyword searches such as 'ashura blast in karachi 2009 video by police' and found a video uploaded on YouTube channel of Associated Press in December 2009. It has same visuals as the viral photograph.
A reverse image search on the photograph led us to a 2006 article published in China Daily that uses the same image. The article stated that the incident took place on March 2, 2006, near Marriot Hotel in Karachi, and attributed the photo to wire agency Reuters.
We found the original image on Reuters' website with a caption 'Smoke billows from burning vehicles after a bomb blast in Karachi, Pakistan March 2, 2006. Two blasts in quick succession killed at least two people outside a Marriott hotel in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Thursday, police and security officials said. REUTERS/Zahid Hussein.'
A reverse image search on the picture revealed that it shows Aleppo, Syria, and not Karachi.
An article published in CNN in 2016 used the same image in their photo slide on the Syrian war. The photo slide showcases the situation of the citizens in Aleppo. The report further mentioned that the tank was patrolling around al-Saleheen locality in eastern Aleppo on December 12, 2016.
The photo carried by CNN has been credited to Getty Images. We looked up the Getty Images' website and found that the photograph was uploaded on December 12, 2016.
The caption with the image read: Syrian pro-government forces patrol Aleppo's eastern al-Salihin neighbourhood on December 12, 2016 after troops retook the area from rebel fighters. / AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN (Photo credit should read GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP via Getty Images).
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