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Video falsely claims to show the aftermath of terror attacks in Mach

Video from clashes between MQM and PPP in Karachi falsely attributed to the recent terror attacks in Balochistan

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Claim: A video showing cars set ablaze claims to depict the situation in Mach after the recent terror attacks in that area.

Fact: The claim is false as the video shows political workers setting cars on fire in Nazimabad, Karachi after clashes between the MQM-P and PPP.

On 30 January 2024, a Facebook user posted a video (archived) with an Urdu caption,

“بریکنگ نیوز۔ مچھ‬⁩ حملہ آوروں نے مچھ، بولان میں کئی فوجی چیک پوسٹوں پر قبضہ کر لیا ہے۔ فائرنگ اور دھماکے جاری ہیں۔”

[Breaking News. Mach attackers have captured several army check posts in Mach, Bolan. Firing and explosions continue.]

The 11-second-long video shows two cars ablaze as a police van passes nearby.

On the night of January 30, 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 of key frames from the video on Google. The results showed an article published by Dunya News on 29 January 2024, containing a screengrab from the same viral video.

When translated into English, the title of the article reads, “MQM workers fired on PPP, one worker was killed, another was injured.”

According to Dunya News, the incident took place in the Nazimabad area of Karachi where Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) workers exchanged fire with the workers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), killing one worker and injuring another.

Dawn reported on the same incident, citing the SHO of Gulbahar Police Station, that the PPP’s rally was crossing the MQM-P office when workers from both parties chanted slogans at each other before engaging in a physical confrontation. The clash culminated in an exchange of gunfire from both sides.

Soch Fact Check spoke to sources who said an initial FIR of the incident had also been registered by the Sindh Police.

Copy of FIR registered in Karachi

A  search showed that the video was shared first by the journalist and Bureau Chief of Public News, Samar Abbas on X (formerly Twitter) at 5:09 am on 29 January 2024. The caption of the video, when translated into English, states, “Clash between MQM and PPP workers near Karachi’s Nazimabad Inquiry Office. One person, Faraz son of Ghafoor, was killed, two  got injured and two vehicles were set on fire.” Two other videos of a similar area, shot from different angles, were also included in the tweet.

When Soch Fact Check reached out to Samar Abbas, he verified on a call that the video was shot by a local source in Nazimabad. Abbas further clarified that the police had visited the area and the vehicles which were set on fire during the clash belonged to the PPP.

In addition to this, Abbas shared another video of the same location with Soch Fact Check which shows the now destroyed vehicles in the area of Nazimabad (II).

(Aftermath of a clash between MQM-P and PPP in Karachi. Courtesy: Samar Abbas | Public News)

Most importantly, the video of the clashes was uploaded in the early hours of the day, around 5:00 am while the attack in Mach reportedly took place at 11:28 pm as confirmed by Interim  Minister Jan Achakzai later that day. While there are unverified videos of cars set ablaze on a highway in Balochistan, the video shared on Facebook does not document the events in Balochistan from today.

Virality

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

On X, the video with the false claim was shared by an Indian account, Baba Banaras, which received 26,100 views, 800 likes and 177 reposts at the time of writing.  The archived versions can be seen here and here.

Conclusion: A video showing two vehicles set on fire is not from the recent attack in Mach. It shows the clashes which took place between the workers of the PPP and MQM-P in Karachi during an election campaign.

 

 

Background image in cover photo: Wikimedia

 

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

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