Indian media shares video game clips as proof of ‘airforce attack in Panjshir’

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Photo: Boom

After the Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan, a high volume of misinformation was shared by Indian media channels.

On Monday, several independent journalists from various corners of the world ridiculed Indian media channels for spreading lies through fake claims on social media that a fighter jet was shot down by the anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan’s Panjshir valley.

The social media users slammed the media outlets and termed them clowns for using even video game’s recording and portraying it as real-time footages of a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) jet flying over Panjshir.

India’s Republic TV and Zee Hindustan aired footage from the video game Arma-3 and claimed that the visuals showed the PAF attacking the anti-Taliban fighters in the ongoing military conflict between fighters in the valley. The embarrassing impropriety was pointed out by the fact-check website Boom and AltNews.

Taking to the micro-blogging site Twitter, Michael Kugelman, deputy director at the US-based Wilson Center think-tank, said: “Some Indian TV media have used video game images instead of real footage (of which there is very little available) to depict the assault in Panjshir.”

Additionally, Indian news channel Times Now broadcast a clip that it said showed a Pakistani fighter jet hovering over Panjshir, terming it proof of a “full-fledged Pakistani invasion” of Afghanistan.

But the UK Defence Journal debunked claim, saying that it was an American F-15 jet flying in the United Kingdom.

“Indian news channel @TimesNow has shared video footage it described as “1st visuals of a fighter jet, allegedly belonging to Pakistan, hovering over Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan”, the trouble? It’s an American jet flying through Welsh valleys,” George Allison, editor at the UK Defence Journal, tweeted.

Some social media users also posted a picture of a crashed F-16 aircraft and claimed that it’s a PAF jet shot down in the Pnajshir Valley by the anti-Taliban forces. However, it turned out to be an old picture of a US airforce aircraft taken in 2018.


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