2014 image from Kabul used to claim '10 Indian soldiers' were killed in Reasi bus attack

By: Ishita Goel
June 11 2024

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2014 image from Kabul used to claim '10 Indian soldiers' were killed in Reasi bus attack

A screenshot of a social media post falsely claiming that 10 Indian soldiers died in the Reasi attack. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

Reports and police statements confirm that the bus that came under attack in Reasi was carrying pilgrims and not Indian soldiers, as claimed.

Claim ID 696fc361

What is the claim?

A photo depicting a green-colored bus undergoing inspection by security personnel is circulating on social media with the claim that ten Indian soldiers were killed in an assault on a bus transporting soldiers in Reasi, a district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The claim emerged following an incident on June 9, wherein a passenger bus carrying pilgrims from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi plunged into a deep gorge in Reasi after an ambush by terrorists.

One Facebook user shared the photo accompanied by the caption, "Just in, a huge attack by Kashmiri freedom fighters on a bus carrying Indian terrorists Army soldiers in Reasi, occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Ten (10) Indian soldiers have been confirmed dead by local police." Another stated, "A major attack on a bus carrying #IndianArmy soldiers in #Reasi #JammuKashmir, has just been reported. Local police confirm that ten (10) Indian soldiers have been killed." The archives for the posts are available here and here.

Screenshot of the viral social media posts. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, our investigation reveals that no Indian soldiers were killed in the attack, and the photo being utilized to propagate the claim originates from 2014 and was captured in Kabul, Afghanistan.

What did we find?

We found a statement (archived here) by District Police Reasi indicating that on June 9, at approximately 6:10 p.m., in the "Pouni area of Reasi district bordering Rajouri district, a bus carrying yatris (pilgrims) from Shiv Khori to Katra was targeted apparently by terrorists using firearms."

Shiv Khori is a Hindu shrine in the Reasi. Katra serves as the base camp for the renowned Hindu temple Mata Vaishno Devi, which the bus was reportedly en route to.

Post by District Police Reasi on the incident. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Moreover, several news outlets, such as The Hindu and Times of India, also covered the incident, reporting that a bus ferrying pilgrims was attacked.

On the same day, police confirmed the death of nine individuals in the incident in another statement (archived here).

Post by District Police Reasi on the incident. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The Hindu quoted Deputy Commissioner of Police (Reasi), Vishesh Paul Mahajan, who confirmed the identities of the nine victims, including the driver (Vijay Kumar) and conductor (Arun Kumar).

The report, citing Mahajan, identified the other victims as Rajinder Prasad Pandey Sawhney, Mamta Sawhney, Pooja Sawhney and her two-year-old son Titu Sawhney from Jaipur in Rajasthan, Shivam Gupta, Ruby, and 14-year-old Anurag Verma from Uttar Pradesh.

There was no report of any Indian soldier succumbing to the attack in the news.

The image in the viral posts

Through a reverse image search, we determined that the image in question is dated and originates from 2014. We found that the BBC published a report on July 2, 2014, titled "Afghan suicide bomber attacks military bus in Kabul" and shared a video from the incident. At the 0:06 mark, the video frame matches the viral image.

Similarly, Euro News posted a video on YouTube (archived here) on July 2, 2014, with the caption, "Afghanistan: suicide bomber kills eight in military bus blast." At the 0:05 mark, the video frame matches the viral image.

In 2014, a suicide bomber targeted an Air Force bus in the Afghan capital, Kabul, resulting in the deaths of eight military officers.

Images from the Reasi attack depict the bus as white with blue borders, and not green like the one in the viral image. Additionally, the bus was discovered in a deep gorge, not on the road as depicted in the viral image.

The verdict

Credible news reports and police statements confirm that the bus that was targeted in Reasi was transporting civilians (pilgrims) and not Indian soldiers, as is falsely claimed in the viral posts. The individuals who lost their lives in the assault were civilians and not soldiers.

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