The Taliban has denied any role in the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and the insurgents.
“We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died," Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN-News18.
“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," he said.
Siddiqui, an Indian national and Reuters staff journalist, was embedded with the members of Afghanistan’s elite special forces in Kandahar, a former Taliban stronghold. He was killed on Friday morning when Afghan commandos, attempting to retake a district surrounding a border crossing with Pakistan, came under Taliban fire, according to Reuters.
The slain journalist’s body was handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) around 5 pm on July 19, according to the publication.
Afghanistan has long been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Officials blame the Taliban for the murders although some assassinations have been claimed by the jihadist Islamic State.
Siddiqui is a mass communication graduate from Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. Before making his foray into photojournalism, he had worked as television correspondent.
As a photojournalist, Danish has covered several important stories in Asia, Middle East and Europe. Some of his works include covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 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.
In India, Danish Siddiqui’s covered the anti-CAA protests, farmer protests, COVID-19 and lock-down struggles. His pictures are called iconic, for they showed the truth.