Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed during fighting between Afghan troops and Taliban militants in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province. He was embedded with the Afghan troops.
Afghan ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay confirmed Siddiqui's death on Twitter, writing that he was "deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi, in Kandahar last night. The Indian journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him two weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family and Reuters”.
Siddiqui led Reuters' multimedia team in India. He was part of the international news agency's seven-member team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for feature photography.
Reuters president Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement: "We 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.”
Siddiqui told Reuters he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier on Friday while reporting on the clash. He was treated and had been recovering when Taliban fighters retreated from the fighting in Spin Boldak. According to a report from CNN News18 contributing editor Aditya Raj Kaul, he came under attack last night while with Afghan forces, but they continued on the mission. This morning they came under heavy attack again in an ambush and he was killed by Taliban forces.
Siddiqui had been posting to Twitter about the fighting. Just days before to his death he posted a video to Twitter showing the Humvee he was travelling in under fire from at least three rocket-propelled grenade rounds.
As a photojournalist Siddiqui covered stories across the Middle East, Asia and Europe. He reported on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong protests, the Nepal earthquake, Mass Games in North Korea and living conditions of asylum seekers in Switzerland. He also produced a photo series on Muslim converts in England. Before his latest assignment in Afghanistan, Siddiqui covered the Covid-19 crisis in India. His powerful images of the exodus of thousands of migrant workers from India's cities in 2020 drew the world's attention to the pandemic situation in the country.