Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photojournalist killed in Afghanistan

Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photographer based in India, poses for a picture at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library during the Pulitzer Prize giving ceremony, in New York, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

KABUL, Afghanistan – A Reuters photojournalist was killed in southern Afghanistan while covering the fight between Afghan government forces and the Taliban, Reuters confirmed Friday July 16, 2021.

Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer from India, was embedded with Afghan forces attempting to retake a handful of districts that recently fell to the militants.

He described intense clashes and a near miss on his Twitter account.

“I was lucky to be safe and capture the visual of one of the rockets hitting the armour plate overhead,” he tweeted Tuesday.

Siddiqui was with an Afghan special forces unit attempting to retake the district of Spin Boldak, southeast of Kandahar city along the border with Pakistan. He was killed along with a senior Afghan officer, according to the Reuters report.

“Danish was an outstanding, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor in Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.

Siddiqui won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis in 2018 as part of a Reuters photography team.

The district where Siddiqui was killed fell to the Taliban this week, ceding to the militants control of a key border crossing with Pakistan. Taliban forces now control nearly all major border crossings in Afghanistan, a move one senior commander said was planned to increase financial revenue through tax collection.

Afghan forces have suffered a wave of crushing losses to the Taliban since U.S. and NATO forces began the last phase of their withdrawal in May. The Taliban has overrun dozens of districts in recent weeks, many falling to the militants with little to no resistance.

 

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