The Taliban has categorically denied direct involvement in the death of Pulitzer Prize winning, Indian Photojournalist, Danish Siddique, who was killed on Friday, 15 July 2021. The 41-year-old journalist was leading the Reuters multimedia team in India when he was embedded with Afghan Special Forces in Kandahar where he lost his life.
“We do not know how he died,” said Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid in interaction with CNN-News18. He told the network that “Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that individual.”
“We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret journalists are entering the war zone without intimation to us,” said the Taliban spokesperson, expressing regret over the journalist’s death.
An Afghan Commander stated the journalist was killed while covering clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan Security Forces near a border crossing close to Pakistan. The Commander told Reuters that Afghan Special forces had been in combat to recapture the main market area of Spin Boldak when the journalist and a senior military officer were killed in a crossfire with the Taliban.
Before making his foray into photojournalism, Siddique was a television correspondent with a leading Indian Television Network. As a photojournalist, he covered several high-profile stories in Asia, Middle East, and Europe.
Some of the slain journalist’s works include covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong protests, Nepal earthquakes, Mass Games in North Korea, and living conditions of asylum seekers in Switzerland. He has also produced a photo series on Muslim converts in England.
His work had been published in scores of magazines, newspapers, slideshows, and galleries – including National Geographic Magazine, New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek, NPR, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, South China Morning Post, The Straits Times, Bangkok Post, Sydney Morning Herald, The LA Times, Boston Globe, The Globe and Mail, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Stern, Berliner Zeitung, The Independent, The Telegraph, Gulf News, Libèration, among various other publications and had been honoured with various photojournalism awards in USA, England, China, and India.