The Taliban has expressed regret over the death of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, but denied any role in the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s death in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Siddiqui, a Reuters journalist, was killed on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan. He was 38.
“We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN-News18 on Friday.
“Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that particular individual. We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us,” he said.
Afghanistan’s Tolo News channel cited sources as saying that Siddiqui was killed in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar. It did not give further details.
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.
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.