Fact Check: Is this Mass Funeral Photo of Sri Lanka Blast Victims Real?

News18.com

A photograph of coffins in a mass grave has been shared on Facebook and Twitter alongside calls to pray for Sri Lanka’s Christian community after more than 300 people were killed in suicide bomb blasts on Easter Sunday. The posts are misleading; the image is actually a 2006 AFP photograph showing mourners after a bus hit a landmine killing dozens of people in northern Sri Lanka.

The photo has been shared on Twitter on April 23, 2019 with a caption saying: “Today, too, let us join in prayer with the Christian community of Sri Lanka, which was struck by terrible violence on Easter Sunday. We entrust to the risen Lord the victims, the wounded and all the suffering. #PrayForSriLanka”

Today, too, let us join in prayer with the Christian community of Sri Lanka, which was struck by terrible violence on Easter Sunday. We entrust to the risen Lord the victims, the wounded and all the suffering. #PrayForSriLanka pic.twitter.com/GxCBTMdP8e

— williamanthnoyraj (@williamanthnoy) April 23, 2019


It has also been shared on Facebook, posted on April 22, 2019, with a Sinhalese caption saying: “The photo that leads to sorrow,” followed by the #PrayForSriLanka hashtag.

A Yandex reverse image search found the original photograph was actually an AFP image taken on June 16, 2006.

The original photo can be seen on AFP’s Image Forum. We've added a screenshot of the same:

afp image

The AFP photo caption says: “Sri Lankan mourners bury coffins for 61 victims killed in a bomb attack at Kebitogollewa in north-central Sri Lanka, 16 June 2006. A powerful land mine ripped through an overcrowded bus 15 June, killing 64 people including 15 children, and wounded 80 others in an attack blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels, who have denied involvement.”