Pulitzer-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui dies while covering Afghanistan clashes
Danish Siddiqui had been working the Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar since the past week and had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on July 16, 2021 while covering the clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city in Afghanistan.
The Reuters photojournalist had been covering the situation in Kandahar over the past few days. Earlier in the day, he had been wounded in the arm by a shrapnel while reporting on the clash. However, he was treated and was recovering when Taliban fighters retreated from the fighting in Spin Boldak.
The Taliban reportedly attacked again, while Siddiqui was talking to local shopkeepers in the area. The clashes reportedly erupted as Afghan special forces attempted to retake the main market area of Spin Boldak, which is a vital border crossing with Pakistan.
Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement that they are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region. "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," the statement read.
Statement from Michael Friedenberg, President, Reuters, and Alessandra Galloni, Editor-in-Chief, Reuters, on Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui pic.twitter.com/nrBc8BgQaa— PR Team at Reuters (@ReutersPR) July 16, 2021
Danish Siddiqui had been working the Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar since the past week and had been reporting on clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban.
On July 13, Siddiqui had shared glimpses of his coverage on his Twitter account. He had shared visuals and reported that the vehicle in which he was travelling with other special forces was targeted by at least 3 RPG rounds and other weapons.
He had tweeted that rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and other heavy weapons were used by the Taliban against the convoy resulting in the destruction of 3 Humvees. He had posted then saying, "I was lucky to be safe and capture the visual of one of the rockets hitting the armour plate overhead."
Rocket propelled grenades (RPG) and other heavy weapon were used by the Taliban against the convoy resulting in the destruction of 3 Humvees. Gunners atop the Humvees swivelled wildly, aiming fire at suspected Taliban fighters who were hard to see. pic.twitter.com/tLppGPrcfL— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) July 13, 2021
The attack continued as Afghan Special Forces retreated after successfully carrying out the extraction. Caught in the middle of this ambush were several Afghans who were trapped while one of them was this boy. pic.twitter.com/rBm60wSUSV— Danish Siddiqui (@dansiddiqui) July 13, 2021
He had also shared few visuals from his missions with the Afghan security forces on his Instagram just a day before he was killed.
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Danish Siddiqui was a part of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.
He had also recently covered the deadly second wave in India and the 2020 Delhi riots. Among other news, Siddiqui had extensively covered the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Battle of Mosul in 2016-17 and the 2019–2020 protests in Hong Kong.
Danish Siddiqui had graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. He also had a degree in Mass Communication from Jamia. He was based in Delhi.