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Yes, photo shows child soldiers in Nigeria’s Biafran war

A black and white photo posted on Facebook shows a young man, little more than a child, looking into the camera as he carries on his back another boy, badly injured.

The photo is in a screenshot of what seems to be a post from the Twitter account @NigerianMuseum.

The text reads: “A child-soldier assists his wounded colleague during the Biafran war (1968).”

The @NigerianMuseum account is currently suspended for violating “the Twitter Rules”. And the screenshot has been flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system.

But does the photo show child soldiers in the Biafran war, snapped in 1968?


 

Biafran war, Nigerian civil war


In 1967, just seven years after Nigeria won independence from British colonialism, the region of Biafra declared itself an independent state. Nigeria’s government rejected the secession. A brutal war followed.

According to Britannica, “estimates of mortality during the war generally range from 500,000 to 3,000,000”.

Biafra surrendered in 1970, 50 years ago.
 

Photo by British war photographer


Using a reverse image search, we found the photo in the collection of Contact Press Images, a stock photo company that specialises in images of war.

The caption reads: “Ibo soldier carrying wounded comrade, civil war, Biafra, Nigeria, April 1968.”

The photo is credited to Don McCullin.

McCullin is a British war photographer who has covered conflicts across the globe. In 1968 he went to Biafra to record the war. His best known photo from the war, of an albino child, was named one of Time magazine’s most influential photos.

Yes, the photo does show child soldiers in the Biafran war, in 1968. – Mary Alexander

 


 

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

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Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

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