This photo was taken in 2006 after an Israeli airstrike on a village in Lebanon

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A picture of coffins wrapped in Lebanese flags is being shared in Facebook posts claiming to show the funeral of victims from the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. The claim is false; the image was taken by AFP in 2006 during the funeral procession of civilians who were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Lebanese village of Qana.

“Heart-wrenching moment,” reads a post shared more than 100 times. “The Beirut Blast victims were laid to rest today, but their yearning for justice can be seen in the eyes of every family member who they've left behind.”

The claim was posted on Facebook two days after a deadly explosion destroyed parts of Lebanon’s capital on August 4, 2020, leaving at least 171 people dead and injuring thousands. Included in the post was an image of coffins draped in Lebanese flags, purporting to be a funeral procession for those who died in the catastrophic blast.

A screenshot of the false Facebook posts, taken on August 14, 2020

Similar Facebook posts in Arabic were shared here and here.

Old image

However, a reverse image search on TinEye reveals that the image was actually captured by AFP in 2006 during the funeral procession of civilians killed in Israeli airstrikes targeting the southern Lebanese village of Qana on July 30, 2006.

A screenshot of the image on AFP Forum, taken on August 14, 2020

At least 28 civilians were killed, including 16 children, according to an investigation by Human Rights Watch.

The Beirut incident has been attributed to an enormous stockpile of ammonium nitrate that blew up in a harbour warehouse. AFP Fact Check debunked various false claims (here, here and here) that were shared on social media in the aftermath.

Translated by
BEIRUT EXPLOSION