2022 video from Mauritania passed off as footage of Egyptian Army's rescue effort in Libya

By: Ankita Kulkarni
September 19 2023

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2022 video from Mauritania passed off as footage of Egyptian Army's rescue effort in Libya

The video claims to show Egyptian Army rescuing a child amid floods in Libya. (Source: X/Screenshot)


The Verdict False

The video dates back to July 2022, when the Mauritanian Army rescued a child stuck in dam waters.

Claim ID 3052ad0c

What is the claim?

Mediterranean storm Daniel made landfall in Libya on September 10, causing massive floods in the North African nation. Amid the disaster, several unrelated videos are being shared on social media, claiming that they are from Libya.

A video of a rescue operation is going viral on social media with the claim that it shows the Egyptian Army saving people’s lives in Libya. The video shows a person holding onto a helicopter harness and trying to rescue a child trapped on a small bench-like structure as flooding water gushes around him. A post sharing the video on X (archived here) had garnered over 134,000 likes at the time of publishing. The post, originally written in Arabic, roughly translated to: “This is not an action movie The Egyptian Army in rescue operations for our brothers in Libya, may God protect them and help them in their misfortune. (sic)” The video is also being shared on Facebook (archived here) with a similar narrative.

Screengrab showing claims made online. (Source: Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the video is old and unrelated to the floods in Libya.

What are the facts?

A reverse image search took us to the official YouTube channel of the Riyadh-based news network Al Arabiya. Similar visuals from the now-viral clip can be spotted in a video uploaded by the channel on July 31, 2022. Around the 0:23 and 0:49 timestamps, the Al Arabiya video shows the same visuals as the viral clip. The video’s title stated: “Saving a Mauritanian child who was trapped by floods. He clung to a rock for two days (translated from Arabic).”

A comparison of the now-viral video and the video uploaded in 2022 by Al Arabiya. (Source: X/ YouTube/Screenshots)

‘Bab Al Sharq,’ a digital media platform, also shared a video of the rescue operation from a slightly different angle on August 1, 2022. The video description read: “Rescue of a Mauritanian child who was trapped by floods for more than 20 hours.” (translated from Arabic)

We also came across a video uploaded on the YouTube channel run by ‘Al Arabi News’ on July 31, 2022, that showed similar visuals as the viral clip. The video description read: “Mauritania. Saving a child who was trapped by floods for more than 20 hours.”

Anadolu Agency, which covers news from Turkey, Africa, and the Middle East, had also reported on the incident on July 31, 2022. The report stated that a child named Mohamed Ahmed Ould Mohamed got stuck in a city dam near Bou Amdid in Mauritania when he was trying to swim, and strong torrents flowed into the dam from the surrounding areas. The report added that the boy was rescued after 20 hours by the Mauritanian Army from a military plane. 

Mauritanian President Mohamed Cheikh El Ghazouani had praised the rescue operation in a tweet posted on July 31, 2022. The tweet reads, “I congratulate the family of the child, Mohamed Ahmed Ould Mohamed, and all our people, for saving his life, thanks to God Almighty, to whom be praise and thanks. I salute the rescue teams and the supervising authorities for their efforts that led to the success of the rescue operation (translated from Arabic).” 

Furthermore, although Egypt has sent immediate support and humanitarian aid to Libya in the aftermath of Storm Daniel, according to the post shared by an Egyptian spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces, this video does not show the Egyptian Army in Libya.  

The verdict

The viral video shows a rescue operation held by the Mauritanian Army in 2022 to save a child stuck in dam waters. The incident is unrelated to Libya and Egypt, as the viral posts claim. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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