A Spanish Civil War photo by Robert Capa that shows a Republican soldier at the apparent moment he was fatally hit in the back by a bullet was in fact staged, a Spanish newspaper claimed on Friday.

"Capa photographed his soldier at a location where there was no fighting," wrote Barcelona-based newspaper El Periodico which carried out a study of the photograph taken in September 1936, the third month of the war.

The so-called "falling soldier" photo was not taken near Cerro Muriano in the southern Andalusia region, as has long been claimed, but about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away near the town of Espejo, the newspaper said.

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El Periodico: Las fotos expuestas en el MNAC desvelan que la imagen mítica de Robert Capa fue tomada lejos del frente de batalla (in Spanish)