Old video of dummy aircraft on fire falsely linked to recent attack on Pakistani airbase

By: Vivek J
November 6 2023

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Old video of dummy aircraft on fire falsely linked to recent attack on Pakistani airbase

Screenshots of the posts purporting to show a PAF aircraft on fire during the November 4, 2023, suicide attacks. (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Misleading

The video of the aircraft on fire is from May 2023 and is unrelated to the November 2023 terror attacks on the Mianwali airbase in Pakistan.

Claim ID 7032730a

On November 4, 2023, suicide bombers attacked the Mianwali military airbase in Pakistan’s Punjab province. According to the latest reports, about 17 soldiers were killed, and nine terrorists were eliminated. Pakistani daily Dawn quoted the Inter-Service Public Relations that some damage was done to three of their non-functional retired aircraft. 

What is the claim? 

Social media users are circulating a video that they claim shows a Pakistani Air Force (PAF) aircraft on fire. The caption of one such post containing the video on X (formerly Twitter) reads, “Pak Airforce fighter jets up in flames. Meanwhile, Mianwali airbase attack still ongoing (sic).” Other posts with a similar narrative are also circulating on Facebook. Archived versions of such posts can be found here, here, here, and here

Screenshots of the viral post. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we found that this video is unrelated to the November 4 suicide attacks on the Mianwali airbase.

What did we find? 

We conducted a reverse image search of keyframes of the viral video and found multiple X posts from May 2023, claiming, “Chinese Shenyang F-6 monument/dummy aircraft set ablaze by locals outside Pakistan Air Force base in Mianwali.” This shows that the video dates back to at least May 2023 and that it is unrelated to the November 2023 suicide attacks. 

Screenshots of the X (formerly Twitter) posts with the viral video from May 2023. (Source: X/Screenshot)

Upon further research, we found a YouTube video by the Hindustan Times dated May 10, 2023, captioned, “Pak embarrassed as Imran supporters burn Chinese Shenyang F-6 dummy aircraft in Mianwali.” Upon comparing the visuals from this video and the viral video, it was clear that both were from the same incident. 

Comparison of the screenshot from the viral video and the May 2023 Hindustan Times video. (Source: X/Hindustan Times/Screenshot)

A report by the Free Press Journal, headlined “WATCH: Imran Khan supporters set fire to Chinese dummy jet outside Pakistan Air Force base,” also contained a photo of the aircraft on fire. The article included several videos from the protests, including footage of the aircraft on fire.

According to the report, there were widespread protests across Pakistan protesting the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. It further noted that “After barging into the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi and inside the premises of a Lahore Corp Commander's resident, protesters in Mianwali set ablaze a Chinese Shenyang F-6 dummy aircraft outside an Air Force base.” 

The same video was shared in a news article by the Eurasian Times, which also posted about the incident on X.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and the leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Imran Khan, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau inside a High Court in Islamabad on May 9, 2023, on corruption charges, leading to widespread violent protests across Pakistan. 

The verdict 

The video is from May 2023, when supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan set a dummy aircraft on fire outside the Mianwali airbase in Pakistan’s Punjab province, protesting his arrest. Therefore, we have marked this claim as misleading. 

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