Old photo being linked to Bannu CTD siege

The photo appeared in a 2008 article

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Claim: A photo shows soldiers being taken as hostages following a siege at the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Fact: The photo is old. It was featured in a March 2008 article.

Fact or Fiction?

On 19 December 2022, Twitter user M. Salman Farooqui shared a photo implying that it shows soldiers being taken as hostages in Bannu, KP.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading. A Google Reverse Image search led to an article published in March 2008 by The Emergency Times that features the same image.

The archived link to the article can be found through Wayback machine. The article, titled “Story of a brave FC soldier who died fighting in Swat” was written by Rahimullah Yusufzai on 27 March 2008. Yusufzai was a Pakistani journalist and political and security analyst.

The article discusses a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier Sepoy Gul Farosh who embraced martyrdom near Manglawar village in Swat on 28 October 2007. 

Pakistan launched a military operation called Operation Rah-e-Haq against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Swat in the same year.

Soch Fact Check concluded that the photo being linked to terrorists taking over the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is old.

According to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the compound was cleared by the Pakistan Army’s Special Service Group’s commandos on 20 December 2022, and all hostages were freed. When briefing the National Assembly, the minister said 10 to 15 soldiers were injured, and two were killed during the operation.

Virality:

Soch Fact Check searched Facebook with the search term, “Bannu Surrender Continue 1971 to 2022,” and found at least three posts carrying the claim including, here, here and here.

The search term “#Pakistan Army’s Rich History & Tradition of Surrender continues. 1971 to 2022. From Surrender at #Dhaka to surrender at #Bannu” turned up one post on Facebook.

On Twitter, the photo was shared here, here, here, here and here.

A Tamil news website, Vikatan, also carried the photo on 21 December, claiming that it shows “rescued hostages”. The article was titled, “Pakistan: 40-hour struggle… Kill 33 terrorists and rescue hostages – What happened?!”

Conclusion: The photo being linked to terrorists taking over the Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) compound in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is old.

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