This image shows the bodies of coal miners who were murdered in Pakistan in January 2021
An image has been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter alongside claims that it shows members of an Islamic missionary group, the Tablighi Jamaat, killed in a purported attack in March 2021. The claim is false: the image actually shows the bodies of coal miners from the Hazara community in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, who were killed by militants in January 2021.
The image was posted on Facebook here on March 15, 2021.
The post’s Urdu-language caption translates to English as: “We strongly condemn the attack on #Tablighi _ Jamaat Last night, the Tablighi Jamaat was attacked in the area of Vandar, Balochistan. First, the beards of all the friends were cut, then they were beaten with sticks and scissors with some martyred and some severely injured. It's very sad. If this was about film stars, then there would be processions from all sides of Pakistan today. People of Tablighi Jamaat, share this post forward. So that this post reaches Imran Khan”.
Tablighi Jamaat is a global organization founded in 1926 dedicated to spreading the message of Islam, as the BBC reported here.
Imran Khan is the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The photo has been shared alongside the same claim on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here; and on Twitter here, here, here and here.
The claim, however, is false.
A reverse image search found that the photo has circulated since January 2021 in reports about coal miners who were killed by militants.
The photo was published here by Dialogue Pakistan, a Pakistani media outlet, on January 4, 2021.
"11 coal miners belonging to Hazara Shia community were killed after being kidnapped in the Mach area of Balochistan on Sunday,” the report reads.
“According to local police, the miners were kidnapped by militants when they were on the way to work. After taking them to the nearby mountain the militants shot each of them to death.”
Below is a comparison between the original image from Dialogue Pakistan (L) and the one in the misleading posts (R):
The photo is credited to Roohan Ahmed, a reporter for Pakistan’s Samaa TV. Ahmed published the photo on his Twitter account here on January 3, 2021.
"The members of Hazara community are protesting on Quetta-Bolan highway with the bodies of 11 coal miners who were killed in Balochistan's Mach area after being kidnapped last night,” Ahmed’s tweet reads.
The murder of the Hazara coal miners sparked protests across Balochistan in January 2021, as AFP reported here. Predominantly belonging to the Shia sect of Islam, Hazaras have been repeatedly targeted by Sunni militants.