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FALSE: This photo of a man carrying a child was not taken in Afghanistan

The photo was taken in Mosul, Iraq during the 4 March 2017 battle.

Syndicated story by PesaCheck.

This Facebook image post showing a distressed man carrying a crying child with text that purports the photo was taken from Afghanistan is FALSE.

The text reads, “Dear LORD GOD. The Merciful one, the creator of All Man Kind please Rescue Afghanistan from the hands of the evil men. who are pretending to be spreading the message of Allah, but doing evil killing the young children and women.”

However, Google reverse image search results show that the photo was taken during a battle in Iraq on 4 March 2017.

News reports indicate the man in the photo was crying and carrying his daughter to safety away from an ISIS-controlled section of Mosul City in Iraq to areas under Iraqi special forces. Goran Tomasevic from Reuters is credited for the photo.

A screenshot of an NBC News article that explains the origin of the photo. [Source: NBC News].

A senior Iraqi security official told NBC News that ISIS launched Katyusha rockets on the eastern coast of Mosul, which is currently under Iraqi forces. The militant group launched the missiles from the western coast of Mosul, which is still under their control. The rockets hit three areas on the eastern coast on 1st and 2nd March 2017.

According to the Iraqi security official, 12 locals were affected by the chemical weapons used by the militant group during the attack. The United Nations told NBC that at least 50,000 people had managed to flee the war-torn area of Mosul between 19 February and 6 March 2017. Those who managed to escape were among the brave as they risked booby traps and ISIS gunfire.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, has been in a state of war and unrest for decades. Chaos continued even after the Taliban seized power in the capital on 14 August 2021, as the United States military withdrawal deadline approached after decades in the country. The Afghan security forces, trained for over two decades by the US and its NATO allies, were quickly overrun by the Taliban. They surrendered to the Taliban after brief battles, and in some provinces like Kabul, they did not put up a fight.

Former Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, fled the country as soon as the Taliban reached the capital, saying he did not want further bloodshed. Thousands of Afghans followed suit with many rushing to Kabul Airport in the hope of fleeing the country as they are fearful of the Taliban. Desperation caused some to cling to a military jet as it took off, which resulted in at least seven deaths.

Over 82,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan in preparation for the 31 August 2021 deadline set by US President Joe Biden to finish the US-led evacuation.

PesaCheck has looked into a Facebook post showing an image of a man carrying a child, accompanied with a prayer for Afghanistan citizens and finds it to be FALSE.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Naomi Wanjiku and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo. The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck managing editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.


Kamadi Amata
Kamadi Amatahttps://mtaaniradio.or.ke
I am a digital content creator with niche in Health, politics, and Human Interest Features.

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