Danish Siddiqui, who headed Reuter’s multimedia team in India, recently did extensive coverage of the graveyards and mass cremations during the second wave of COVID-19.

Pulitzer-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Taliban attackTwitter/DanishSiddiqui
news Death Friday, July 16, 2021 - 13:22

Danish Siddiqui, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist with Reuters, was reportedly killed in an attack by the Taliban in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, in Afghanistan. Danish, who headed Reuter’s multimedia team in India, was killed during the clashes on the night of July 15. He was embedded with Afghan forces, which came under attack by the Taliban. For the last few days, he had been covering the situation in Kandahar.

“Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photojournalist, was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar, sources confirmed. The Indian journalist was covering the situation in Kandahar over the last few days,” Afghanistan-based Tolo News tweeted. Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay took to Twitter to state that he was killed in Kandahar on Thursday night. "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.

Just three days ago, Danish shared a Twitter thread on his reportage in Kandahar. He also shared visuals of the Taliban attacking the car that he was travelling in. “The Humvee in which I was travelling with other special forces was also targeted by at least 3 RPG rounds and other weapons. I was lucky to be safe and capture the visual of one of the rockets hitting the armour plate overhead,” Danish had written on July 13. 

Danish’s recent work on the COVID-19 pandemic in India, where he extensively covered the hospitals, graveyards and mass cremations, was widely appreciated across the globe. Danish held a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Masters in Mass Communication. Before his work as a photojournalist, Danish worked as a television correspondent. 

Danish covered several important stories as a photojournalist in Asia, Middle East and Europe. Some of his works include covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugees 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 has been widely 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, and others.

Danish has been honoured with various photojournalism awards in the USA, England, China and India. “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,” reads Danish’s Reuters profile page

The clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan forces intensified after the US military troops withdrew from Afghanistan recently. The Indian mission in the country, too, had to be evacuated from the country. 

The Taliban have in recent weeks taken control of a string of major Afghan border crossings, including with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The border crossing with Iran at Islam Qala in Afghanistan's western Herat province is particularly lucrative and an important trade route.  SpinBoldak is a key crossing for all goods from Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi to Afghanistan, a landlocked nation dependent on the Arabian Seaport. Last week, the Taliban said they now control 85% of Afghanistan's territory, a claim that is impossible to verify but that was considerably higher than previous Taliban statements that more than a third of the country's 421 districts and district centres were in their control. Many Afghan districts have fallen to the Taliban without a fight as Afghan forces abandoned their posts. Reports indicated that Spin Boldak also fell without a fight.

The Taliban surge has also resulted in tens of thousands of Afghans fleeing their homes, some as a result of the fighting, but many out of fear of what life might be like under Taliban rule.

Shocked to learn about his death, several journalists took to Twitter to offer condolences. 

 

 

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