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No, this image is not from a protest in Lakki Marwat

Image from Swat protest shared with misleading claim

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Claim: An image on social media shows a protest against rising terrorism in Lakki Marwat in April 2023.

Fact: The claim is misleading. The image is from Swat and not the Lakki Marwat area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

On 29 April 2023, Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan posted an image on Twitter with the Urdu caption,

یہ لکی مروت ہے جو اپنے ملک اور علاقے میں مزید جنگ نہیں چاہتا۔ اللہ رب العزت پاکستان کو درست فیصلے کرنے کی توفیق عطا فرمائے آمین

[Translated, This is Lakki Marwat who does not want war in its country and region. May Allah Almighty grant Pakistan the right decision, Ameen.]

Lakki Marwat is is a district in Bannu Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. Over the past few months, the region has seen a  rise in terrorist activities and militants attacks. The image was shared after people took to the streets to protest against the increased terror attacks.

Fact or Fiction?

A reverse image search showed that the same picture was shared by another user on 28 April 2023. The caption reads, “AMAZING how thousands gathered in Matta, Swat today to protest the presence of TTP. Taliban had been spotted in the area. This is the 2nd big protest against Taliban in Swat in the last few months. Swatis are holding the line for Pakistan but not getting media coverage.” 

A news report by Dawn published on 29 April about a protest in Swat also features a similar image, with the same landscape and location.

The caption of the photo reads, “A large number of protesters assemble at Matta Chowk in Swat on Friday against Kabal blasts. — Dawn”

According to the news report, a rally was taken out in the Manglawar area by local elders and civil society members, and a demonstration was staged in the Matta Bazaar by the Swat Qaumi Jirga. Leaders of a number of political parties, elders and civil society activists attended the protests in large numbers.

Another news report by The Express Tribune on the Swat protest features a similar image as that of the misleading post.

Soch Fact Check also searched the Matta Chowk in Swat and found the same location in YouTube videos and old news report.

Virality

Imran Riaz’s tweet received 670.k views, 13,000 retweets and 41,000 likes.

On Facebook, it was shared here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: The image of a public protest against terrorism is not from Lakki Marwat but from a recent protest in Swat.

 

 

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

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