The claim that 158 Indian soldiers were killed by the Chinese army during recent India-China standoff is false, and a three-year-old viral picture has falsely linked to the ongoing Indo-China standoff.
In the backdrop of ongoing India-China border standoff, an image of army vehicles on fire is going viral on social media with the claim that 158 Indian soldiers were killed in a rocket attack by the Chinese army in Sikkim.
A Facebook page named Kashmir Updates shared the image with a caption, "Clashes erupted btw #Indian and #Chinese forces in Naku La sector of North Sikkim." At the time of writing this article, this post has been reshared more than 1800 times.
The same image was shared by another Facebook page with a caption, "158 Security Forces of India got killed in Disastrous Rocket Launcher attack by China in Sikkim."
This post also was also shared over 2200 times.
Similar claims are being widely circulated on Twitter as well. A twitter shared two images saying, "Clashes erupted btw #Indian and #Chinese forces in Naku La sector of North Sikkim China killed 158 Indian soldiers same number by which Pakistan beaten India in Champion trophy final We Love Peace PakistanZindabad."
In our investigation, we found out that the viral image is at least 3-year-old and the claim shared with it is also false.
With the help of reverse image search, we found the viral image was used several times along with three other images since July 2017 by several Pakistani media with a similar fake narrative. During the Doklam stand-off between India and China in 2017, several Pakistani media aired these images saying “Chinese cross border rocket attack kills 158 Indian soldiers.”
You can watch the fake report here which was aired by Pakistani media in 2017.
Following this story, both India and China had dismissed the Pakistani reports as fake news. According to reports, the Indian government categorically said the viral pictures were unrelated and of a different incident. We could not find the original source and details about the viral picture.
Also, there is no such report which confirms that any Indian soldier has lost his life during the recent crisis. Hence, the viral claim about the killing of 158 Indian soldiers by the Chinese army is also false.
Earlier, an image and a video surfaced on social media on May 31 purportedly of clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh, sparked a controversy. However, army officials clarified that the contents of the video being circulated are not authenticated. Attempt to link it with the situation on the northern borders is malafide. You can read our detailed report here:
In conclusion, the claim that 158 Indian soldiers were killed by the Chinese army during recent India-China standoff is false, and a three-year-old viral picture has falsely linked to the ongoing Indo-China standoff.
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