These images have circulated in reports about Thailand, years before the coup in Myanmar

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Several images have been shared repeatedly on Facebook alongside a claim they show anti-coup fighters in Myanmar successfully testing "low-cost missiles". The claim is false: the images have circulated in various reports since 2011 about festivals in northeastern Thailand.

The images were shared here on Facebook on September 4, 2021. The post has been shared more than 80 times.

The first and second images show a group of people assembling a device made from what appears to be PVC pipes.

The third image shows a similar device being launched into the air.

The post's Burmese-language caption translates to English as: "After long-range missiles come the PVC air-launch missiles.

"The rocket you are seeing [in the post] is lightweight and can reach up to 5km in height. To be able to shoot more accurately at the target than now, the techniques and materials needed have already been ordered from China and Laos.

"The missile produced is a low-cost handmade missile that was illegally tested in the East, southeast parts of Thailand and rural Laos. [Generation-Z] youths have successfully studied the technology".

Screenshot taken on September 8, 2021 of the misleading post

"Generation Z" is a reference to young anti-coup protesters in Myanmar after the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The continuing violence in Myanmar has pushed some in the anti-junta movement to form armed civilian forces.

There have been a growing number of clashes between the military and anti-coup fighters armed with homemade weapons.

The images have been shared with a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here and on multiple blogs including here and here.

However, the claim is false.

A reverse image search on Google found the images predate the coup in Myanmar.

They have all circulated in reports about festivals in Thailand.

First image

The first image was shared here on a Thai-language blog on March 6, 2016. The article references "Ban Bung Fai", which translates as "Rocket Festival".

It is celebrated by farmers in northeastern Thailand to mark the beginning of the rainy season.

The blog is about how the festival is celebrated in Isan region.

It is titled: "Bang Fai Lan tradition, the legend of Ma Kham Lai, Ban That, Phen District, Udon Thani Province".

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (L) and the image in the blog post (R):

Screenshot comparison of the image from the misleading post (L) to the image from the blog post (R)

Second image

The second image was published in a June 2019 Thai news report about an accident at a fire festival in another Thai province.

The report reads: "At 5pm, on June 2, a local policeman based in Nong Bua Lam Phu province received an alert about a fireball explosion at the tent near the temporary firing base.

"After an investigation, the police found local people were in a state of shock.

"Scraps of fireballs which were made from PVC and gunpowder were on fire and burned those who were in the viewing area, 1 person was found dead along with 13 others injured."

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (L) and the image in the Thai news report (R):

Screenshot comparison of the image from the misleading post (L) to the image from the news report (R)

Third image

The third image is a screenshot taken from a YouTube video that shows how rockets are made for the Thai festival.

The video is titled: "How to make Bang Fai Saen". It was posted on YouTube on May 8, 2011.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading post (L) and the screenshot taken from the video (R):

Screenshot comparison of the image from the misleading post (L) and the screenshot taken from the video (R)

AFP could find no credible report of anti-coup fighters using PVC missiles.

MYANMAR MILITARY COUP