Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui killed in crossfire between Taliban and Afghan security forces
Siddiqui was killed on Friday after a clash between Afghan security forces and members of the Taliban broke out, with the terrorist group trying to reclaim a market in Spin Boldak, a town bordering Pakistan in southern Afghanistan. A senior Afghan commander also lost his life in the battle.
The photojournalist had earlier been shot in the arm on Friday. According to an Afghan commander, Siddiqui had been recovering from the wound and was speaking with local shopkeepers when the fighting restarted and the journalist ultimately lost his life.Also on rt.com Taliban claim key Afghan border crossing with Pakistan as insurgent group nets new territories
Siddiqui had been deployed earlier this week to work with the special services and cover the clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban in Kandahar, in the south of the country.
The journalist shared his work on Twitter just two days before his passing. In a harrowing post, the Reuters journalist said that he “could feel the tension in the air as ASF [Afghan Special Forces] were expecting an imminent attack from the Taliban.”
I could feel the tension in the air as ASF were expecting an imminent attack from the Taliban. There was sporadic machine gun fire but all hell broke loose as the Humvees reached the extraction point. pic.twitter.com/TqnnqiuTUr— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) July 13, 2021
Reuters president, Michael Friedenberg, and editor-in-chief, Alessandra Galloni, said they “are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region” to find out more on the events surrounding the journalist’s death.
The Mumbai Press Club also paid tribute to the Indian journalist, heralding the late Siddiqui as “the bravest journalist,” saying that his legacy “leaves behind an extraordinary body of work.”
We are deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of award-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in the line of duty. The bravest journalist, Danish, leaves behind an extraordinary body of work. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed. pic.twitter.com/slu5k6whqS— Mumbai Press Club (@mumbaipressclub) July 16, 2021
The photojournalist, who joined Reuters in 2010, has documented some grueling events in recent history across the world: from covering India’s coronavirus crisis, to anti-Muslim pogroms in Delhi last year. Siddiqui was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a prestigious achievement for journalistic coverage, for his documentation of Rohingya Muslims in 2018.
Danish Siddiqui’s searing images on the Rohingya refugees, Delhi pogrom, & India’s Covid crisis will forever be imprinted in our minds. pic.twitter.com/SMwgmiLNTG— Shalini (@ShaliniNair13) July 16, 2021
Spin Boldak, the town where the journalist had been stationed, was taken by Taliban forces on Wednesday after heavy conflict across the province of Kandahar.
The Taliban have recently claimed that they control 85% of the country, a statement that is difficult to verify. Since the US made the decision to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by August 31 after two decades of involvement, the Pentagon has been watching the situation with “deep concern” as the terrorist group is gaining more and more territory in the war-torn country.
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