Dancing armed men clip falsely linked to Afghanistan's historic cricket win over Australia

After Afghanistan beat Australia in the T20 Cricket World Cup league match in June 2024, an old video appearing to show men dancing with firearms has been viewed millions of times in social media posts that falsely claimed it showed celebrations in the country after the match. The video has circulated online since at least March 2021.

"Afghanistan Shock #Australia By 21 Runs In Super 8s Match Of #T20 World Cup. Massive celebrations in Afghanistan after their team stunned world champions Australia in the T20 World Cup," read a Facebook post on June 23, 2024.

It was shared on the same day Afghanistan beat world champion Australia for the first time in the T20 World Cup Super-Eight.

The post included a video -- viewed more than eight million times -- which shows a group of men dancing while holding what appear to be firearms. 


Thousands of cricket fans celebrated by lighting fireworks in the streets of Afghanistan following the country's victory over Australia.

Since the Taliban took over in August 2021 and introduced an austere vision of Islam, scenes of public jubilation have been rare.

Afghanistan's dream of reaching the World Cup final was shattered after losing to South Africa in the semi-final match on June 27 (archived link). 

The video was shared with similar false claims on social media site X and on Facebook.  

However, it predates Afghanistan's win over Australia by at least three years.

The same video was previously debunked by AFP here in 2021 after it circulated with another false claim. 

A reverse image search of a keyframe from the footage found it was uploaded on YouTube on April 11, 2021 (archived link). 

The video's headline read: "Bannu DJ Full HD Video 2021/Bannu Wedding Dance", referring to a district in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Its description read: "This video is for entertainment only peacefully and Pathan culture wedding Dance# Bannu DJ Full HD Video 2021."

"Pathan" is a term that refers to the Pashtun ethnic group residing primarily in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the false posts (left) and the 2021 YouTube footage (right): 

Screenshot comparison of the false post video (left) and the 2021 YouTube video (right)

Several other online posts also shared the video here, here and here in 2021 (archived links here, here and here).


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