Does a Photograph Depict the Suicide Bombing in Kabul on Thursday?
On August 26, two suicide bombers and gunmen killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and more than 90 Afghans at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. In light of these attacks, images alleging to show the scene have been circulating on social media. One Facebook image claims: “Blast near Kabul airport Eastern Gate. Potentially suicide bomber.” Another widely shared post claims that “Kabul’s Hamid Karzai’s International Airport is currently under attack by the Taliban.” The post continues: “A large explosion and gunfire can be seen and heard at a gate on the Eastern side of the airport. The incident occurred at one of the entry gates to the airport. Numerous people have been injured and killed in the explosion.” This image is credited to “Atlas News.”
This viral image, although indeed an image from Kabul airport, is actually from August 16, 2021, and the description on Getty Images reads: “US soldiers stand guard as in the background Afghan people wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021.” The picture was taken by Wakil Kohsar for the Agence France-Presse news agency.