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Old photos used to depict recent attacks in Plateau

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Claim: Photos showing men transporting alleged bodies on motorcycles were linked to the latest attack in Plateau state of Nigeria.

Old photos used to depict recent attacks in Plateau

Verdict: False! The photos were not recent and did not emanate from the Dec. 2023 attack in the state.

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For the people of Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Mangu, the local government areas of Plateau State, the Christmas celebration was not as joyous as expected. Instead, it saw them fleeing their homes. 

On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2023, gunmen invaded about 17 communities in Plateau State, leaving 195 persons dead and houses burnt. President Bola Tinubu had described the incident as a “primitive and heinous” attack while promising that “These envoys of death, pain, and sorrow will not escape justice.” 

The attack further raised concerns over the raging insecurity challenge affecting the country.

After the attack, misinformation and disinformation around the incident surfaced on social media platforms, with people pushing different narratives. The development prompted fact-checkers’ intervention, with two false narratives being debunked by fact-checkers here and here

DUBAWA also observed a similar case. A Facebook user had shared photos of motorcyclists carrying dead bodies wrapped in either mats or other clothing materials. The user said the men were villagers in Jos. The Facebook user also claimed that this was how the New Year was celebrated in the area. 

As a result of the killings in Plateau State and Jos being the state capital, this elicited pity from a lot of Nigerians who believed the picture was related to the incident. 

This made DUBAWA investigate the claim. 


DUBAWA subjected the image to a reverse search that showed the two pictures were unrelated to the Dec. 2023 incident.

The result of the search showed the pictures were posted on Oct 4, 2022, by one Arewa Daily News on Facebook to depict an attack on residents of Taraba the previous day.

The report states that unknown gunmen killed at least 12 herdsmen in Zude Pangri District in Bali Local Government of Taraba State.

It was said that armed men with AK47 rifles stormed the village and called the herdsmen to a meeting, an invitation the latter honoured while the bandits opened fire on the victims, leaving 12 dead while others scampered to safety.

The incident, with some of the pictures attached, was also reported by this blog here and here. A video showing the alleged dead bodies being conveyed to the nearest town was also posted on this page on Oct 5, 2022.


The viral photos linked to the Plateau attack in Dec. 2023 were from 2022 and not 2023. 

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