Fake posts about ‘bomb blast at Buddhist site in Myanmar’ use old footage

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

burmese language The blogs have repeatedly shared four photos and a video clip which they say show an explosion at Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar’s iconic landmark, on a public holiday for a Buddhist festival on July 12, 2022. While a A bomb exploded near a shopping mall in Yangon that day, a Shwedagon Pagoda representative told AFP that there was no explosion at the Buddhist site. The photos in the posts that show explosions were taken in Lebanon and Somalia – not Myanmar – while the video shows an unrelated incident.

“Many died after bomb blast at Shwedagon Pagoda on full moon day,” reads the Burmese-language headline. this blog who shared the images and video on July 14, 2022.

The images form a collage with superimposed Burmese language text that translates to: “Many died on full moon day / Shwedagon Pagoda bomb blast / 68 civilians died and 8 vehicles burned to ashes .”

A a bomb explosion near a Yangon shopping center on the afternoon of July 12 killed two people and injured eleven, rescuers and local media said.

The explosion took place as the country celebrated the warso full moon day which marks the first sermon given by the Buddha.

Screenshot of misleading post, taken July 15, 2022

The images and video were also posted alongside a similar claim in blogs here, here and here.

Links to some of the blogs were also shared on Facebook here, here and here.

However, board member of Shwedagon Pagoda told AFP there was no explosion at the Buddhist pagoda on July 12.

“People came to the pagoda until 8:00 p.m. More than 257,000 visitors came to the pagoda on the full moon day,” the official said. crew member said.

Combined image and keyword reverse searches on Google found the images and video in blogs were shared in false context.

Photo of the Shwedagon Pagoda

The first image shows the Shwedagon Pagoda and was released here on a media outlet called Myanmar Digital News run by Myanmar’s Ministry of Information on March 9, 2020.

Its caption indicates that the image was taken during the full moon day of tabaungthe last month of the Burmese lunar calendar.

Below is a screenshot comparing the image in the misleading posts (left) and the photo posted by Myanmar Digital News (right):

A comparison screenshot between the misleading blog post photo (left) and the Myanmar Digital News photo (right)

Photos of unrelated attacks

The second picture is a Photo: AFP of an explosion in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, in 2013.

The photo was captioned: “Civilians gather at [site] of an explosion in the Bir al-Abed district, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, on July 9, 2013.

“A car bomb shook the southern suburbs of Beirut, stronghold of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement, injuring 15 people, according to television reports and a military source”.

Below is a screenshot comparing the image in the misleading post (left) and the AFP photo (right):

Comparison of screenshots of the image in the misleading message (left) and the AFP photo (right)

The third image shows another Photo: AFP — posted October 16, 2017 — which shows the aftermath of an explosion in Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Its caption reads in part: “Somali ambulances carrying patients seriously injured in the latest explosion in Mogadishu wait to access the airport where the injured will be evacuated by Turkish military planes on October 16, 2017.”

Below is a screenshot comparing the misleading blog image (left) and the AFP photo (right):

Comparison of screenshots of misleading blog image (left) and AFP photo (right)

Photo of the coup in Myanmar

The fourth image was previously published here by local media DVB on February 15, 2021 after Burma’s military seized control of the country in a coup that arrested civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The caption for the photo reads: ‘Many soldiers and policemen stand guard in front of the Central Bank of Myanmar and its branch in Yangon.’

Below is a screenshot comparing the misleading blog image (left) and the DVB News photo (right):

Comparison of screenshots of misleading blog image (left) and DVB News photo (right)

Unrelated video

The video shared in messages contains the same photo collage as its thumbnail.

However, nowhere in the clip was a real explosion shown.

Instead, it features a narrator talking about a robbery that killed a university student who was carrying a lot of cash after withdrawing money from a bank on July 11, 2022.

The incident matches this local news report.

Amanda J. Marsh