Discussing the recent events in Afghanistan on its primetime segment ‘Yeh Bharat Ki Baat Hai’ on August 23, Republic Bharat featured alleged visuals of attacks on the Taliban in Panjshir. At the 1:38 mark of the half-hour-long program, anchor Syed Sohail said, “We will now show you another visual of how the Taliban were defeated. Look at these pictures. You can see that these Taliban fighters were killed by an explosion. This image depicts how the fighters of Panjshir crushed the Taliban.” It was claimed that Taliban terrorists were present outside the Panjshir Valley, and were defeated by the Afghan fighters stationed there. (Archive link)
A video of the Republic Bharat show was posted by a page named ‘PublicTv‘, which garnered millions of views and likes.
The same video was broadcast by Times Now, TV9 Bharatvarsh and ABP News. TV9 Bharatvarsh claimed that 800 Taliban members were killed without any fighting. Times Now reported that Afghanistan’s vice president Amrullah Saleh said the Taliban were gathering their fighters around the Panjshir Valley. ABP News played this video in two of its shows on August 23. (First show, second show)
Republic Bharat aired another visual and claimed that Taliban terrorists were trying to climb into the valley amid a fierce exchange of fire and many of them were killed. This scene appears after the 2:46 mark in the video of the show.
India Today also ran this visual several times describing it as a visual of the Panjshir Valley. (Archive link)
BIG #Breaking#Exclusive Interview of @AmrullahSaleh2 on @IndiaToday–
I wished that Prez @ashrafghani stayed and became a rallying point. He didn’t remain loyal to his promises.
We reject the Emirate of the Taliban, their dictatorship.#Afghanistan #Taliban #Kabul #Panjshir https://t.co/ehXg3P7Txm
— Geeta Mohan گیتا موہن गीता मोहन (@Geeta_Mohan) August 24, 2021
While broadcasting the footage, the channel claimed that this was taken on-ground at Panjshir Valley on August 23.
Alt News performed a keyword search on Twitter. We noticed that numerous users had replied to a tweet carrying the video by @CWC_Today that it was fake. One of them also shared a Facebook post from March 2020 which included the visuals. It was posted on a Facebook page called ‘Egy Army – Police’.
Following this, we performed a keyword search on Facebook and found this video uploaded by the same page (Egy Army – Police) on May 1, 2020. Therefore, this video cannot be of the recent attack on Taliban fighters in the Panjshir Valley.
حق ولادنا مش بيروح 🇪🇬👮🏻♂️
مفاجأة مش كده 💪
استكمالا لحق شهداءنا 💙
Posted by Egy Army – Police on Friday, May 1, 2020
This clip was also uploaded to Reddit in March 2020.
We performed a keyword search on Twitter to verify the videos broadcast by India Today and Republic Bharat. In a response to a tweet, a user said the clip is an old video from Yemen. It had been uploaded to YouTube on August 16 in connection with the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
Alt News found a similar video on Twitter posted on August 4 where the attackers can also be spotted.
نجل العميد علي صالح الكليبي المصعبي قائد اللواء 19 مشاه أنجاه الله من وابل رصاص لأكثر من 20 #حوثي يرمونه بالرصاص
كل هذا الحقد والكراهية والعدواه والبغضاء في قلوب الحوثيين لكل يمني خرج يدافع عن شرفه وكرامة وأرضه من غلمان ايرلو
— عامر الحميقانيAmer Al_Homaiqani🇾🇪 (@amerAlhamiqaniu) August 4, 2021
A reverse image search of a frame from the aforementioned August 16 video led us to a few news reports from Yemen along with a tweet posted by the handle ‘Yemen Military Media’. It contained a few pictures of Yemen’s Operation Al-Nisar Al-Mubeen Phase 2 along with a link to the video.
صور من مشاهد عملية النصر المبين (المرحلة الثانية) “تطهير مدريتي ناطع ونعمان” بمحافظة البيضاء”
— الإعلام الحربي اليمني (@MilitaryMediaY0) July 31, 2021
The clip had been posted to the Yemen Military Media YouTube channel on July 30. It was taken from the press briefing for Operation Al-Nisar Al-Mubeen Phase 2. In the video, an army officer from Yemen can be seen giving information about the operation, during which he also shows some visuals. The same visuals were broadcast by India Today as the Panjshir Valley clash on August 23. This can be seen after the 15:30 mark in the original video.
A longer version of what India Today and Republic Bharat described as a recent video of the Panjshir Valley was uploaded by Yemen Military Media on July 31. A part of this clip was blurred on Indian news channels and broadcast as visuals of an attack on Taliban fighters.
To sum it up, a number of media outlets ran old videos that were not from Afghanistan in connection with the resistance in Panjshir against the Taliban fighters. One of these videos has been on the internet since March 2020 while the other depicts Yemen.