Video of Pakistan shooting falsely shared as 'deadly Afghan attack over donkey'

·2 min read

Footage of gunmen opening fire at a crowd has racked up millions of views in posts claiming it shows an attack in Afghanistan in which 51 people were purportedly killed in a dispute about a donkey. The claim is false; the video was actually filmed in Karachi, Pakistan, when rival groups clashed over money on September 8, 2022. Police said that nobody was killed in the shooting.

"In the Pul-e-Khumri area of Afghanistan, worshippers shot dead a donkey when it entered a mosque," reads an Urdu-language Facebook post from September 13.

"The owner of the donkey shot dead 13 worshippers. In retaliation, worshippers attacked the village of the donkey's owner and killed 38 people, 35 of them were women. Total 51 people died."

The video shows at least two men opening fire as they run towards a crowd in the street.

The footage racked up more than 2.2 million views before the Facebook post was deleted.

A screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim, taken on September 16, 2022

The video attracted hundreds of thousands of views in similar Facebook posts here, here and here.

Some social media users pointed out that the footage was actually filmed in Pakistan, while others appeared to believe it was from Afghanistan.

"Allah, please bestow Afghanistan, my heartbeat, with peace," read one comment.

"Now let's see what decision the Taliban makes (over the attack)," another wrote.

The posts are sharing the footage in a false context.

Money dispute

Visual clues in the footage suggest it was filmed in Karachi, Pakistan's most populous city.

The Pakistan national flag is visible at the 30-second mark in the video, and an advertisement for a local college in Karachi, The Concepts Collegiate, can be seen at the 1:15 mark.

The Pakistan national flag (L) and an advertisement for a local college (R) seen in the footage

Keyword searches found the footage in a news report from September 10 by the Karachi Post Network about a shooting in the city.

The video shows the clip filmed from a wider angle.

The voice-over says that the attack happened at Karachi's Naval Colony district following a money dispute between two groups of people.

A spokesman for Karachi police said that gunshots were fired during a clash between rival groups in the Naval Colony district and the incident was under investigation.

Two people were wounded in the shooting but nobody was killed, he told AFP.

Another police official said the clash took place on September 8, 2022 and that rival groups had filed charges against each other.