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Image of bloody doctor’s coat is not from Parachinar attack

Fake account of Mahrang Baloch on X falsely linked image of Halloween costume to the recent attack in Parachinar

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Claim: There are two claims about the same image:

  1.  A viral image shows a bloody doctor’s coat belonging to a female doctor who was killed during an attack in Parachinar, KP.
  2. Dr Mahrang Baloch, an activist against enforced disappearances, shared the false image to mislead people about the recent attack in Parachinar.

Fact: These claims are false because:

  1. The image is of a Halloween costume and has been circulating online since 2012.
  2. The X account does not belong to Dr Mahrang Baloch. It was a fake account impersonating Baloch, which was later suspended by X.

On 9 January 2024, a user on X (formerly Twitter) posted an image (archive) with the caption, “This is medical overcoat of Dr. Ruqia Najaf, a Shia Muslim doctor at Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, Pakistan, who was among 4 people killed by ‘unknown persons’ after verifying their Shia identity in Parachinar region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

The image went viral after four people were killed and three were injured in an attack on a passenger bus in Parachinar, Kurram District, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The Thall-Parachinar road has a long history of targeted sectarian attacks against the people of Parachinar, especially against Shia tribes.

Fact or Fiction?

To investigate, Soch Fact Check conducted a reverse image search on Google. The results showed a blog post published on 7 October 2012. The blog is titled “Denise’s Yadda on Soap Making, Crafts & Personal Ramblings.

The same image as that of the viral claim was featured on the blog which says that the author designed the Mad Scientist costume for their grandson’s Halloween party by using liquid gel and red oxide. It discusses a step-by-step guide for creating the costume.

On the other hand, the same image was posted by an account impersonating  Dr Mahrang Baloch on X. The caption of the tweet in Urdu says that only the children of generals are safe in the country while others like Baloch and Shias are targeted.  The caption implies that Mahrang Baloch targeted the military establishment for rising terrorism in KP and enforced disappearances in the country. The now-deleted post attracted a lot of attention since many people thought it was posted by the activist herself.

While the claim was debunked on X, it was also shared as evidence that Mahrang Baloch is spreading misinformation against the state.

On Facebook, people shared false posts by the fake account claiming that Mahrang Baloch is propagating false information against the state. The Urdu language post’s caption reads,

“بالآخر ماہ رنگ بلوچ بھی منظور پشتین کی طرح جعلی تصاویر کے زریعے ریاست کے خلاف پروپیگنڈہ کرنا شروع ہوگئیں۔ جس قمیص کو موصوفہ نے “ڈاکٹر رقیہ کی قمیص” بتایا ہے وہ کئی سال پہلے سے گوگل پر موجود ایک  Halloween Party کیلیے تیار کی گئی قمیص ہے جس پر خون کے نشان بھی نقلی ہیں۔

#ماہ_رنگ_ڈرامہ_فلاپ

Translated [Eventually Mahrang Baloch also started propagandizing against the state through fake photos like Manzoor Pashteen. The shirt described as “Dr. Ruqiya’s shirt” is a Halloween Party shirt on Google from several years ago with fake blood stains.] 

However, Soch Fact Check investigated the matter and found that the account is not managed by Mahrang Baloch herself. There are different fake and fan accounts on social media, mainly on X which were created after the families of Baloch missing persons staged a sit-in against enforced disappearances in Islamabad.

Soch Fact Check verifies that the image of a bloody white coat is not related to the attack in Parachinar, and Mahrang Baloch did not post this image.

Virality

The first claim linking a Halloween costume to the recent attack in Parachinar was shared here, here and here on X. It was also posted here and here on Facebook.

The second claim that Mahrang Baloch posted a fake image for propaganda was widely shared on Facebook. The archived versions can be found here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The image of a bloody coat was posted by an account impersonating Mahrang Baloch. The picture shows a Halloween costume; it is not related to the recent attack in Parachinar.

 

Background image in cover photo: Dawn

 

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

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