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Video from 9 May protests falsely linked to recent attack on Mianwali air base

Video from 9 May protests falsely linked to recent attack on Mianwali air base


Claim: A video shows a Pakistan Air Force fighter jet engulfed in fire during the Mianwali air base attack from earlier this month.

Fact: The video is from May 2023 when protests erupted across Pakistan following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan.

On 4 November 2023, a group of nine terrorists attacked Pakistan Air Force (PAF) training airbase in Mianwali. The military reported that three “non-operational” aircraft were damaged during the attack, and security forces successfully neutralised all of the assailants, according to a report by Reuters.

According to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), “no damage has been done to any of the PAF’s functional operational assets,  while only some damage was done to three already phased out non-operational aircraft during the attack.”

Fact or Fiction?

On 4 November 2023, X (formerly Twitter) user @FrontalForce shared a video claiming that it shows a Pakistan Air Force fighter jet engulfed in fire during the recent attack on the airbase in Mianwali. 

The video is accompanied by the following caption:

“Pak Airforce fighter jets up in flames.

Meanwhile, Mianwali airbase attack still ongoing.”

Soch Fact Check searched the phrase “Pakistan aircraft jet on fire” on Google and came across a YouTube video uploaded by Hindustan Times on 10 May 2023. The video is titled, “Pak embarrassed as Imran supporters burn Chinese Shenyang F-6 dummy aircraft in Mianwali | Watch”. Based on similarities, we ascertained that it features the same aircraft as the viral video between the 1:25 to 1:30 mark. A comparison graphic below shows the similarities.

Another Indian outlet, First Press Journal also reported  the incident where supporters of Imran Khan set fire to a “dummy aircraft” in Mianwali, following his arrest.

We also found tweets carrying a video from this scene of protest in May 2023, including here and here, as well as a post on Facebook.

PTI chief Imran Khan’s arrest from the Islamabad High Court’s premises on 9 May 2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case sparked nationwide protests.


The claim can be found here, here, here, here and here on Twitter.

The tweet by @FrontalForce gained significant traction with 234,400 views, 2,200 likes and 659 reposts.

The video was also shared here on Facebook.

Conclusion: The viral video is unrelated to the recent Mianwali air base attack. It is actually from May 2023, when protestors allegedly set a dummy aircraft on fire in Mianwali, during a period of widespread protests in Pakistan following the arrest of former prime minister, Imran Khan.

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