Old clip of blast in Pakistan shared to falsely claim Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is dead

By: Rajini KG
January 3 2024

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Old clip of blast in Pakistan shared to falsely claim Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is dead

Screenshot of the viral video circulating online. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video shows a bomb blast that occurred in Dera Ismail Khan city in Pakistan on November 3, 2023. It has been falsely linked to Masood Azhar.

Claim ID b82c4b43

What’s the claim?

A video of a bomb blast is being shared online with the claim that it captures the explosion that purportedly killed Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is an extremist group based in Pakistan that has been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S.-based Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

An X (formerly Twitter) user shared the video on January 1 with the caption, “Pakistan : Most wanted terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar reportedly killed in bomb explosion by Unknown Men, returning from Bhawalpur mosque.” The 13-second video shows a busy street and two seconds into the video an explosion occurs and people start running for cover. The post (archived here) had around 3,700 likes and over 3,60,000 views at the time of publishing. Archives of similar posts can be found here, here, and here.

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

However, the claim is false.

  • The viral video was captured in November 2023 and shows a blast that took place in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan.

  • There is no concrete evidence to prove Masood Azhar has died.

Here are the facts

Through Google search, we established that the video is old. We found that the same video was posted on the YouTube channel of the Japanese news channel ‘TBS NEWS DIG Powered by JNN’ on November 4, 2023. The video title, when roughly translated from Japanese, read: “Explosion in northwestern Pakistan kills 5 policemen and injures 21 near the Afghan border | TBS NEWS DIG.” According to the video description, also in Japanese, the footage depicts an enormous flame erupting on a street where many people were walking and driving by in a town in northwestern Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan on November 3, 2023.

Screenshot of the YouTube video of the November 2023 blast in Pakistan. (Source: YouTube/Screenshot)

Further, we found that a screengrab from the November 3 video was also carried in a news report published by India Today on November 3, 2023. The report stated that the blast was said to have targeted a police van and occurred in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province's Dera Ismail Khan city.

Police officer Gul Sher Khan confirmed to AP News that the incident occurred in Dera Ismail Khan city. Rescue official Aizaz Mehmood, speaking to Reuters, confirmed that five local civilians succumbed and the bombing injured 21 individuals, including civilians and police constables. There was no mention of Masood Azhar being killed or any member of the JeM in the list of casualties.

Rumors around Masood Azhar’s death

Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, was included on the UN's 2020 global terrorist list due to his ties to al-Qaeda and his involvement in organizing, funding, and supporting terrorist activities. Pakistan has often been accused by the Indian government of harboring Azhar and providing him a safe haven. Social media is currently abuzz with claims that an “unknown man” has allegedly “killed the most wanted terrorist Azhar in a bomb blast.” However, neither the Pakistan government nor the Pakistan Law Enforcement have released a statement or any such confirmation on Azhar’s death. There are also no reports from any credible media outlet suggesting Azhar has been killed. There is, hence, no reliable evidence available to indicate that Azhar has died. 

Logically Facts has debunked several claims of similar death hoaxes. You can read our analysis on why death hoaxes go viral here.

The verdict

Footage of an explosion that occurred in Dera Ismail Khan city in November last year has been misattributed as a recent incident in Pakistan that allegedly killed JeM chief Masood Azhar. There is no evidence to suggest that Azhar is dead and, therefore, we mark this claim as false.

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