Fake News

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Fake news story prompts Pakistan to issue nuclear warning to Israel

Defence minister reminds Israel on Twitter that ‘Pakistan is a nuclear state too’ after fake story says Israel had threatened to destroy Pakistan



Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. Photograph: Inter Services Public Relations/HO/EPA
Emma Graham-Harrison

Sunday 25 December 2016 22.35 GMT Last modified on Monday 26 December 2016 14.23 GMT



A fake news story has touched off a Twitter confrontation between nuclear powers Pakistan and Israel.

The exchange took place following the publication of a fake story headlined “Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops to Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack”.

The story appeared on 20 December on the site AWD News.

In an apparent response to the story, Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif sent a warning to Israel on Twitter that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”

Israel’s defense ministry tweeted back on Saturday, saying the original story was “totally fictitious.”

AWD has been identified by fact-checking organisations as a fake news site.

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying the existence of an arsenal but is widely believed to have its own nuclear weapons. Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. The countries have no diplomatic ties.

There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan to Israel’s response.

Earlier this month a fake news story about a child abuse ring prompted a gunman to fire shots inside a pizza restaurant in Washington.

Associated Press contributed to this report
 

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