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Pulitzer prize-winning Reuters photojournalist killed by Taliban in Afghanistan

Danish Siddiqui had been covering conflict in the country.

Danish Siddiqui
Danish Siddiqui

DANISH SIDDIQUI, A Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist, has been killed by the Taliban while covering conflict in Afghanistan. 

Siddiqui was embedded with a convoy of Afghan security forces in the border town of Spin Boldak when they were ambushed by the Taliban, an Afghan commander said.

He was talking to shopkeepers when the group opened fire, killing him and a senior Afghan officer. 

Siddiqui had been reporting on the conflict between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters since earlier last week. His most recent work was published on Tuesday. 

He told Reuters he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel during the clash, but had received treatment, and said that the Taliban had retreated.

In a statement, Reuters said it was “urgently seeking more information” about his death.

Retuers President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement that the organisation was “urgently seeking more information” about his death before paying tribute to Siddiqui and his work.

“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.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressed shock at Siddiqui’s death, and said he was killed while covering “Taliban atrocities”.

Siddiqui worked with Reuters for over a decade and was the agency’s chief photographer for India. He had covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Hong Kong protests and Nepal earthquakes.

He was part of the team that won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for their work documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. 

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Afghanistan has long been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. Human rights groups have called for peace in the region and warned of an escalating threat to journalists. 

In May, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Afghanistan 122nd out of 180 countries on its latest World Press Freedom Index.

Several journalists have been killed in targeted attacks since the Taliban and Washington signed a deal in February 2020 that paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 0ver 50 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001. 

— Additional reporting by AFP

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