Fact Check: Taliban did not kill TOLO News reporter Ziar Khan Yaad

Kabul: On Thursday (August 26) there were multiple reports on social media that an Afghan journalist was killed by the Taliban. Is it true? What is the real story behind those reports from Afghanistan and the tweets shared by Indian media houses? Here is the truth.

News Claim: Ziar Khan Yaad, who works for Afghanistan’s TOLO News, was reported as “killed” by the Taliban. TOLO News itself was the first to tweet and report of its reporter being beaten up. However, the Google translation of the tweet said "killed" instead of "beaten up".

Indian news agency ANI tweeted that the reporter was "killed", quoting TOLO News. It wrote on Twitter, “TOLO news reporter killed by the Taliban in Kabul: TOLO News.”

Later, several Indian TV channels and newspapers reported the same news on Thursday morning.

Verification: However, the report has turned out to be false. The reporter Ziar himself took to his Twitter account to clarify that he was alive and was only “beaten” by the Taliban in Kabul’s New City. Several journalists on Twitter said the Google translation of TOLO News' tweet was wrong. "Do NOT fall for the google translation - Its translating the headline from Darri where as its in Farsi(Persian) - The TOLO News reporter was Beaten up by the Taliban along with his Cameraperson yesterday, he has NOT been killed. #Afghanistan (sic)," an user wrote.

Reporter Ziar himself wrote, “I was beaten by the Taliban in Kabul's New City while reporting. Cameras, technical equipment and my personal mobile phone have also been hijacked. Some people have spread the news of my death which is false.The The Taliban got out of an armored Land Cruiser and hit me at gunpoint.”

“I still don't know why they behaved like that and suddenly attacked me. The issue has been shared with Taliban leaders; however, the perpetrators have not yet been arrested, which is a serious threat to freedom of expression,” he added.

After the reporter’s tweets, all media houses issued corrections and said the reporter was “beaten” and “not killed” by the Taliban.

Verdict: The news was false.

About The Author

A. Ramakrishna is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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