FALSE: This image does not show a drone attack on a TPLF logistics store | by PesaCheck | Sep 2022

The image shows an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle performing a combat mission over southern Afghanistan in 2008.

A Facebook post with a image claiming to show a drone attack by the Ethiopian Air Force on a logistics store belonging to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is FALSE.

The Amharic message translates to “Breaking: Air Force successfully attacked targeted TPLF logistics store locations with drones.”

On August 26, 2022, there was news reports that a kindergarten in Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, was hit by an airstrike, killing at least seven people.

However, despite the tension, Google’s reverse image search results reveal that the photo has nothing to do with the Ethiopian conflict.

The defense post website published the image on October 1, 2020, with a description that reads: “An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle performing a combat mission over southern Afghanistan in 2008.” Image credited to Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt /US Air Force.

PesaCheck reviewed a Facebook post with an image purporting to show a drone attack by the Ethiopian Air Force on a logistics store belonging to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and found it to be FALSE.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organizations like PesaCheck help tell fact from fiction. We do this by giving audiences deeper insight and context into the posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or misinformation on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here is more information on The PesaCheck methodology to check for questionable content.

This fact check was written by a PesaCheck fact checker based in Ethiopia (name withheld for security reasons) and edited by the editor of PesaCheck Cedrick Irakoze and acting editor Francis Mwaniki. The article has been approved for publication by the editor of PesaCheck Doreen Wainainah.

PesaCheck is the first public finance fact-checking initiative in East Africa. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is incubated by the continent’s largest civic tech and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It aims to help the public separate fact from fiction in public statements about the numbers that shape our world, with particular emphasis on public finance statements that shape government delivery of public services and development goals. (SDGs), such as health care, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reporting. To learn more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through his fund innovateAFRICA, with the support of Deutsche Welle Academy, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watch organizations.



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