Danish Siddiqui, Reuters Photojournalist, Is Killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed whereas protecting a conflict between Afghan safety forces and the Taliban on Friday, as combating between the insurgents and authorities troops intensifies throughout the nation.

Mr. Siddiqui, an Indian nationwide and Reuters employees journalist, was embedded with members of Afghanistan’s elite Special Forces in the southern province of Kandahar, a former Taliban stronghold. He was killed on Friday morning when Afghan commandos, making an attempt to retake a district surrounding a border crossing with Pakistan, got here underneath Taliban hearth, in keeping with Reuters.

“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region,” Michael Friedenberg, the president of Reuters, and Alessandra Galloni, the information company’s editor in chief, stated in a joint assertion. “Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”


Mr. Siddiqui, 38, had been a Reuters journalist since 2010 and coated occasions throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, together with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2018, he was a part of a Reuters group awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for protection of the Rohingya refugee disaster. His photos of households fleeing on rickety boats to Bangladesh from neighboring Myanmar, in which the navy was conducting a marketing campaign of ethnic cleaning, had been printed in newspapers all over the world.

Mr. Siddiqui is the primary overseas reporter to be killed in the Afghan battle since U.S. and worldwide forces started withdrawing from the nation in May and the Taliban launched a sweeping navy offensive, killing lots of of presidency troops and displacing tens of hundreds of civilians. In simply over two months, the insurgents have seized round 170 of the nation’s roughly 400 districts — solely a handful of which have been retaken by authorities forces.

The Taliban offensive has largely centered on rural districts. But since early July, the insurgents have seized a string of essential cities alongside Afghanistan’s borders with Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, and have pushed their means into 4 provincial capitals. Last week, the Taliban penetrated Kandahar metropolis, Afghanistan’s second largest metropolis.

Mr. Siddiqui had been embedded with the Afghan commandos in Kandahar in latest days to report on their efforts to retake components of the province, in keeping with Reuters. In a collection of Twitter posts on Tuesday, Mr. Siddiqui described a rescue mission the place commandos tried to avoid wasting a police officer trapped by Taliban insurgents on the outskirts of Kandahar City.

“I could feel the tension in the air as A.S.F. were expecting an imminent attack from the Taliban,” he wrote, referring to the Afghan Special Forces. “There was sporadic machine gun fire, but all hell broke loose as the Humvees reached the extraction point.”

Taliban insurgents fired on the commandos’ convoy, he stated. A video he posted reveals the intense yellow and orange flash of a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the armored plating of the Humvee in which he was using.

On Friday morning, as Afghan commandos launched the operation to retake misplaced floor in the Spinbaldak district of Kandahar they met with Taliban resistance, in keeping with Reuters.

Mr. Siddiqui and a number of other members of the Afghan safety forces — together with an Afghan Special Forces commander, Sadiq Karzai — had been killed in the combating, native officers stated.

As information of Mr. Siddiqui’s demise unfold, the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee urged journalists protecting the battle to take all vital precautions and known as on the Taliban and authorities forces to make sure their security. Over the previous 12 months, assaults on journalists by the Taliban have sharply elevated, in keeping with a Human Rights Watch report launched in April.

Tributes to the photographer additionally flooded social media.

“From humanitarian crises to life-threatening violence, Danish Siddiqui has captured some of the most iconic, defining photographs of the last decade,” Fatima Khan, a correspondent for The Print India, said on Twitter.

This spring, Mr. Siddiqui photographed the devastation the coronavirus wreaked throughout his residence nation of India. His haunting, nearly post-apocalyptic, images of crowded cremation grounds had been broadly seen all over the world because the gauge of the devastation.

Mr. Siddiqui is survived by a spouse and two kids, in keeping with a Reuters colleague in Delhi.

Mujib Mashal contributed reporting from New Delhi, and Taimoor Shah from Kandahar.

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