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Video captioned corpses of Fulani bandits in Northern Nigeria false

Photo Credit: nytimes.com 3 mins read

Claim: A viral video showing several burnt bodies on WhatsApp claims that the Fulani bandits were struck, burnt and roasted by lightning from heaven while on their way to attack a Christian community in Northern Nigeria.

The video showing several burnt bodies on WhatsApp, with the claim that Fulani bandits were struck, burnt and roasted by lightning from heaven while on their way to attack a Christian community in Northern Nigeria is false as verification has revealed the bodies were from an accident that happened in Tanzania in 2019.

Full Text 

Recently, a 29-seconds video was shared multiple times on WhatsApp purporting that Fulani bandits were struck, burnt and roasted by lightning from heaven while on their way to attack a Christian community in Northern Nigeria. The video showed numerous burnt corpses, burnt out wreckages of motorcycles piled together, voices in the background were heard speaking in an unrecognized language, and a huge burning fire and what appeared to be paid workers moving around.

Screenshot of the 29 seconds video. 

The video which looks like a tanker explosion scene was accompanied with the caption that reads: “Corpses of Fulani bandits as they were struck, burnt and roasted by lightning from heaven while on their way to attack a Christian community in the North. God is responding to the prayers of the church. It’s gory pls. Don’t bother to open pls it if you are sensitive to gory images”

Verification 

First of all, this reporter observed that the same video has been used to depict the Nigerian military onslaught on terrorists in Zamfara recently, which Dubawa tagged to be false.

So this researcher went on to take screenshots of the video to capture relevant frames and subjected it to reverse image searches. Using reverse image tools Tineye and INVID  on the image yielded zero result.

Screenshot of tineye and INVID invalid result

Further verifications on  Yandex reverse image search revealed that the video has been making the rounds since 2019, as it has appeared in several publications and Facebook pages, one of which was a post by Random FB videos on 5 September 2019, with the caption “This is provocative enough to cause war… South Africa,” indicating that it happened in South Africa.

A Yandex reverse image search result

Another publication by norskk square space on 18 September 2021, with the title “South Africa a Failed State,” claimed that utter chaos and unfathomable violence and savagery is so common in African states, showcasing pictures it claims were images of the common genocides in Africa and that some of the frames were taken from this video.

A keyword search revealed that the video was first shot in 2019 when an oil tanker explosion killed at least 60 people and wounded scores more in Tanzania. The tanker was heading from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city to the country’s capital and overturned in the town of Morogoro,  according to an Aljazeera report.

The report explained that the residents of the community besieged the area in an attempt to scoop fuel when the fuel tanker exploded and more than 60 lives were lost. 

Conclusion 

The video showing several burnt bodies on WhatsApp and claiming that Fulani bandits were struck, burnt and roasted by lightning from heaven while on their way to attack a Christian community in Northern Nigeria is false as verification has revealed that the accident happened in Tanzania and the video was shot in 2019 when an oil tanker exploded in Morogoro. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with JAY 101.9 FM Jos to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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