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Fact Check-Video of Afghan president boarding a plane was filmed in July – not during the Taliban takeover

Old footage of the president of Afghanistan boarding a plane has been falsely circulated on social media as showing the moment he left on Aug. 15 when the Taliban entered Kabul.

The 17-second clip has been shared by verified accounts on Facebook and Twitter (here and here) and shows President Ashraf Ghani climbing the steps of a KamAir aircraft, pausing shortly to turn and wave to those stood below.

The caption accompanying one video reads: “*For the history books:* President Ghani leaving Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control over the country.”

It is true that Ghani left Afghanistan on Aug. 15 as Taliban insurgents entered the capital – a move he confirmed on Facebook by saying he wanted “to avoid bloodshed”.

The Taliban has taken a little over a week to seize control of the country, eventually taking Kabul virtually unopposed.

But the video of Ghani boarding the plane was not filmed during the August unrest; rather, it was filmed in July, and shows the president departing on a two-day trip to Uzbekistan. It was published by TOLOnews, an Afghan news outlet (here).

Ghani has not revealed details of his evacuation – nor has he confirmed his whereabouts.

According to the Russian embassy in Kabul, Ghani left with four cars and a helicopter (here).

The news channel Al Jazeera, citing a personal bodyguard of the president, also said Ghani, his wife, his chief of staff and national security adviser had flown to Tashkent in neighbouring Uzbekistan (here).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. Footage of Ashraf Ghani boarding a plane was captured in July and not during August unrest in Afghanistan.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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