Amid massive unrest in Baghdad, Iraq after religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr claimed he was withdrawing from politics, a video of some people pelting large stones at a bus is going viral on social media. Users claimed that the video showed Al Sadr supporters attacking Iranian pilgrims. Newschecker found the claim to be false.
According to reports, fighting between opposing Shia militias and the Iraqi security forces has claimed at least 23 lives, with the death toll set to rise ony further.
It is in this background that the video has been shared on Twitter by user @KarwanFaidhiDri along with the caption ‘Video purportedly shows Sadr supporters attacking an Iranian bus carrying pilgrims’.
Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter with similar captions in English and Arabic.
We started our investigation by conducting a reverse image search on the key-frames of the viral video to ascertain its authenticity and found a tweet by user @ALAhlyStadium74 which shared the same video clip on 21st August, 2022 along with the caption ‘Gentlemen in charge @AlsisiOfficial @moiegy @CabinetEgy Ismaili fans attack the buses of Al-Ahly fans. How long will your silence and your presence know the reason very clearly. Will silence continue until disaster strikes!?’.
Using this as a clue, Newschecker conducted a keyword search with words “Ismaili fans” and “Al-Ahly fans” we found a news report by by East Post Elrisala uploaded on their website on 23rd August, 2022 titled ‘The first decision of the Club Association against the Ismaili fans after the attack on Al-Ahly fans’.
A skim through the article confirmed that both organisations were Egyptian football teams, one situated in Cairo and the other in Ismalia.
The article further revealed that a bus carrying Al-Ahly supporters was attacked by some Ismaili supporters while it was travelling to Burj Al Arab Stadium to see the Egyptian League match between the two teams.
As the Ismaili supporters halted the bus carrying Al-Ahly supporters on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road and threw stones at it, several followers and tweeters posted images and photographs of some of the Ismaili supporters.
Upon further investigation, Newschecker found news reports which carried similar images to the one in the viral video. Both reports claimed that the video is from when fans of the Ismaili club attacked the Al-Ahly club’s fan bus, prior to a match between the two teams in the Egyptian League.
Newschecker also found a similar video shared on the official Facebook page of the Al Arabia Egypt Facebook page with the title ‘The Ismaili fans attacked the Al-Ahly fans bus before the two teams’ match’ when translated via Google translate.
Newschecker’s investigation reveals that the video claiming to show Al Sadr supports attacking a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims is actually a clash between two sets of football fans in Egypt.
Media report by East Post Elrisala on 23rd August, 2022
Facebook post by Al Arabia Egypt on 21st August, 2022
Media report by Archytele on 22nd August, 2022
Media report by Albahwab News on 21st August, 2022
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