Hyderabad: A video reportedly showing the Taliban hang a man from a helicopter in Afghanistan's Kandahar city has gone viral on social media with the claim it shows the barbaric execution of a "US interpreter".
The video was aired by Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV which ran a whole debate on the video claiming that it showed the Taliban hanging a man from a US Black Hawk chopper. (Archive)
The viral video was tweeted by Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Choudhary with the caption, "Another landmark picture taking the world in a new era of terror. Taliban hang a person, presumed to be an American interpreter, from a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter. The leftover US helicopters will now be used in #Afganistan like this."
Several Indian news outlets, including News 18, WION News, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, and ABP News, shared the video with similar claims.
The Republican Party of New York also tweeted the video.
The claim is false.
NewsMeter conducted a search using the keywords "Taliban and helicopter" and found news reports carrying the same video that showed a person hanging from a helicopter. The articles included a video that was posted by a Twitter handle called "Talib Times" on 30 August. The account called itself the "English language official account of the Islamic Emirate Afghanistan". It has since been suspended by Twitter.
The Talib Times had tweeted, "Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate's air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city."
Taking a cue from the caption, we used the keywords "helicopter, Taliban, and Kandahar in Pashto" to perform another search and found several videos of the same incident.
Another version of the video was posted by Twitter user Jahid Jalal who clarified on 1 September that the man in the video was a Talib who was attempting to fix a flag. "You see in the video that Talib picks up his mobile and takes pictures," according to a Google Translate version of Jalal's tweet.
Fact-checking organization Alt News reached out to an Afghan news agency that had also posted the video but from a different angle and it reiterated the same.
"We have a team there. They have confirmed that the person was controlled and hanging from the helicopter to fix the flag at the governor's building in Kandahar," the channel told Alt News.
Also, Afghan freelance journalist Bilal Sarwary said on Twitter that he knew the pilot flying the chopper. He wrote, "Afghan pilot flying this is someone I have known over the years. He was trained in the US and UAE, he confirmed to me that he flew the Blackhawk helicopter. Taliban fighter seen here was trying to install Taliban flag from the air but it didn't work in the end."
Hence, the claim that the video shows the Taliban hanging a man from a helicopter is false.