Unrelated photos of dead bodies wrongly linked to 2023 Bajaur bombing
Images are years-old, some dating as far back to 2013
Claim: A visual comprising three photos shows the bodies of three people who were killed in the 2023 Bajaur bombing.
Fact: These pictures have nothing to do with the 2023 Bajaur bombing. They are older photos linked to different conflicts.
On 31 July 2023, Facebook page ‘Musa IK (کپتان کا دیوانہ)’ posted (archive) a visual, comprising three images, allegedly of dead bodies, claiming to show the people who were killed in a suicide bombing that took place at the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party’s political rally in Khar, located in Bajaur district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on 30 July.
The post is accompanied by the following caption:
“شہدائے باجوڑ 💔😭
یارب العالمین ان سب کو جنت الفردوس میں اعلیٰ مقام عطا فرمائے آمین یارب العالمین 🙏
[Martyrs of Bajaur 💔😭
O the Lord of the Worlds, please grant them all a high place in the highest level of Heaven. Amen, Lord of the Worlds]”
Reuters reported (archive), citing a government official, that the bombing left at least 63 people dead and that it was the “deadliest [attack] on a political party since campaigning for the last election in 2018”.
At least a dozen minors were among the deceased, a police official told CNN (archive), with more than 100 people wounded.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check ran the three pictures through reverse-image search engines and found all of them to be unrelated to the 2023 Bajaur bombing.
Google Lens led us to this Reddit thread (archive) from 12 May 2021, where the picture of a young boy — on the right side of the visual — is included side-by-side with a photo of him when he was alive. The same combination was also published in the Daily Jang here (archive).
The boy was identified as Hamza Ali, which we used along with the image search to narrow down the results. We found an article about him on Al Jazeera’s Arabic website here, as well as here and here, where his full name, Hamza Mahmoud Yassin Ali, is mentioned.
The individual in the second image could not be identified, although we found multiple posts linking it to different persons, most often with victims of the Palestinian conflict. In August 2022, Tülay Gökçimen — a documentarist and director of Human Movie Team — shared it on Instagram, saying it showed “Martyr of Gaza Abdulhadi Alsofi”.
Soch Fact Check was, however, able to trace it back to 21 March 2022, when it was posted on the Russian social network Odnoklassniki, also known as OK.ru.
The third photo appeared on 24 October 2013 in a blog called Eman Nabih and on 29 October 2013 on a website called Da Begad, which debunks “social media hoaxes” and said the picture was “misleading public opinion”.
Da Begad provides this blog post as its source.
Soch Fact Check concludes that none of the three images are related to the Bajaur blast that took place in July 2023.
The post by Facebook page ‘Musa IK (کپتان کا دیوانہ)’ has received over one million reactions, 47,000 comments, and 41,000 shares.
Conclusion: The pictures have nothing to do with the 2023 Bajaur bombing. They are, in fact, old and linked to other conflicts.
Background image in cover photo: @juipakofficial
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