Video does not show Pakistan Army helicopter shot down by BLA in Bolan
It is from 2023 when a Pakistan Navy helicopter crashed in Gwadar
Claim: A video shows a Pakistan Army helicopter being shot down by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in Bolan, Balochistan.
Fact: The video actually shows a Pakistan Navy helicopter crash in Gwadar, Balochistan from September 2023.
On 29 January, Balochistan’s Interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai reported that security forces thwarted three coordinated terror attacks in the Mach area of Balochistan. Achakzai attributed the attack to terrorists linked with the Aslam Acho group, adding that no installations were damaged.
The military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said that nine terrorists were killed and three were injured in the attack. Four security personnel and two civilians embraced martyrdom, the statement added.
The Majeed Brigade, the suicide squad of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), later claimed responsibility for the attacks, confirming that four members of its squad were killed.
Fact or Fiction?
On 30 January 2024, X (formerly Twitter) user Baba Banaras (@RealBababanaras) posted a video claiming that it shows a Pakistan Army helicopter being shot down by the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in Bolan, a district located in the central part of the Balochistan province.
The tweet reads,
“BREAKING : Reportedly Pakistan Army Gunship helicopter shot down by BLA fighters in Bolan.
|| Operation Dara-e-Bolan ||”
Soch Fact Check found the claim to be false. A keyword search of the phrase “Pakistan Navy helicopter crash” led to multiple videos shared here, here, here, here, here, and here, claiming to show a helicopter crash from September 2023.
We also found a tweet corroborating the incident, posted in September 2023 by Caretaker Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Ali Mardan Domki in which he offered condolences to those “who lost their lives in the tragic Sea King helicopter crash in Gwadar”.
My deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of the brave personnel who lost their lives in the tragic Sea King helicopter crash in Gwadar. We mourn the loss of these dedicated officers and extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Pakistan Navy.
— Mir Ali Mardan Domki (@MirAliMardan) September 4, 2023
A statement by the Pakistan Navy said that the helicopter was on a routine training flight in Gwadar when it crashed, possibly due to a technical fault. Two officers and one personnel were killed in the accident, the statement added.
A comparison graphic below shows the similarities between the viral video and the videos of the crash we found online which date back to September 2023. Based on these visual clues, Soch Fact Check ascertained that the video which claims to show the BLA striking down a Pakistan Army helicopter in Bolan is actually of a Pakistan Navy helicopter that crashed in Gwadar, Balochistan in September 2023.
The tweet by @RealBababanaras gained significant traction with 97,600 views, 1,500 likes and 346 reposts.
Conclusion: An old video of a Pakistan Navy helicopter crash from Gwadar, Balochistan has been shared with the false claim that it shows a Pakistan Army helicopter being struck down by the BLA in Bolan recently.
Background image in cover photo: Zohaib Khan
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