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Multiple Indian news outlets appear to be using footage of the tactical shooter Arma 3 as evidence that the Pakistan Air Force is aiding the Taliban in the fight against Afghan resistance.
As reported by IGN India, the news outlet Republic was first to air what it claimed was "exclusive" footage of a Pakistani airstrike on Afghan resistance in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley. The clip has since been shared by Times Now Navbharat, Zee Hindustan and TV9 Bharatvarsh, with all networks crediting the footage to a since-deleted video shared by 'Hasti TV' on Facebook.
Arma 3 is based on an entirely fictional near-future war, and chooses to take its inspiration from real-world events rather than offer up outright adaptations of those events. Despite this, it's a strikingly detailed game with a heavy focus on realism - which goes some way to explaining why the clip was picked up by so many outlets and reported on as news.
The footage, which you can see below, certainly looks like it could be real. It's been made to look extra shaky and grainy, but those who have played Arma 3 were able to see it for what it was. Naturally then, it didn't take long for viewers to spot what was going on and call out the broadcasters.
As noted above, Republic has since pulled the footage from its official channels and defended itself by saying it wasn't the only outlet to show the "erroneous" video.
This also isn't the first time someone has mistakenly used footage of a video game in reporting news - far from it. It was only a few months ago, in fact, that Reuters reported on social media users falsely believing Arma 3 to be footage of Israel's defence system. Maybe video games are just getting too dang realistic.
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