Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has been killed in Kandahar while on a reporting assignment embedded with Afghan security forces, Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay tweeted on Friday (July 16).
“Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi in Kandahar last night. The Indian journalist & winner of Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters,” Mamundzay tweeted.
Afghanistan’s Tolo News channel cited sources as saying that Siddiqui was killed in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar. It didn’t give further details.
Siddiqui had recently reported on a mission by Afghan special forces to rescue a policeman who had been cut off from others and had fought the Taliban for hours on his own. His reports included graphic images of vehicles of the Afghan forces being targeted with rockets.
Fierce fighting has been going on in and around the southern city of Kandahar, the capital of the province of the same name. The Taliban have captured key districts near the city and engaged Afghan forces in a police district on the outskirts of the capital.
India evacuated its diplomatic staff and security personnel from the consulate in Kandahar on an Indian Air Force flight on July 10 amid growing concerns about the security situation in the city.
Over the past few days, Spin Boldak district has witnessed heavy fighting after the Taliban captured a key border crossing that links to Chaman in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Danish graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. He went on to pursue a degree in Mass Communication from Jamia in 2007.
In 2018, he became the first Indian alongside colleague Adnan Abidi to win the Pulitzer for Feature Photography as part of the Photography staff of Reuters for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.
“While I enjoy covering news stories – from business to politics to sports – what I enjoy most is capturing the human face of a breaking story,” Siddiqui said in a Twitter message.
“A photo should draw people and tell them the whole story without being loud,” Siddiqui had told Scroll.in.