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Old image from Quetta blast linked to recent attacks in Mach

The image is from the 2021 attack on Serena Hotel, Quetta

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Claim: An image on social media shows the recent attacks by the BLA in Mach, Balochistan.

Fact: The claim is false because the image is from the 2021 blast at the Serena Hotel in Quetta, Balochistan.

On 30 January 2024, an Indian user Baba Banaras posted an image (archived) on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, “Operation Dara-e-Bolan. A massive attack on Pakistani Occupational forces, the first of its kind in #Balochistan, has seen railway stations, police stations, and military outposts occupied by Baloch Fighters within hours.”

On 29 January 2024, security forces thwarted three coordinated terror attacks in the Mach area of Balochistan. In a tweet, the province’s interim information minister, Jan Achakzai, attributed the attack to terrorists linked with the Aslam Acho group. Later, the Majeed Brigade – the suicide squad of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), claimed responsibility for the attacks.

As reported by Dawn, police stations, railways and the central jail were targeted but the number of casualties is not officially confirmed as it is a developing story.

Fact or Fiction?

To investigate, Soch Fact Check conducted a reverse image search on Google. The results showed a news story by Express Tribune from April 2021, with the title, “4 killed, 13 injured in Quetta hotel blast.” According to the report, a suicide blast took place in the parking area of Serena Hotel, Quetta killing four people while injuring thirteen.

A full image as that of the viral claim was featured in the article. A comparison between the landmarks visible in the false claim (left) and Tribune’s image (right) can be seen below:

Comparison between the image with false claim (left) and Express Tribune’s image (right) from 2021

At the time, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) took responsibility for the attack, Reuters reported.

Geo News also published a news article on 22 April 2021 featuring the same image as that of the viral claim, adding that 40-50 kgs of explosives were used in the bomb and that a fire erupted after the blast.

Image from Geo News 2021 article 

Virality

On X, the false image received 25,900 views, 400 likes and 80 reposts at the time of writing. The archived version can be seen here.

The image was also shared with the false claim here, here, and here on Facebook.

Conclusion: An image claiming to show the fire after terror attacks in Mach is actually from 2021, depicting the site of a suicide blast at a hotel in Quetta, Balochistan.

 

 

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

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