Monday, July 26

Reuters photojournalist and Pulitzer laureate dies in Afghanistan

The Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who worked for the information agency Reuters, has died during a confrontation between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces in the border city of Spin Boldak, in the southern province of Kandahar, as confirmed this Friday to Efe local sources.

Danish Siddiqui “unfortunately died this morning. He was an Indian citizen and newcomer from India. He was a photojournalist for Reuters,” local sources say on condition of anonymity.

The photojournalist traveled to Kandahar to cover the clashes that were taking place in the area after the capture last Wednesday of one of the border crossings that connects Afghanistan with neighboring Pakistan by insurgents.

The photographer, who had been in Afghanistan for the past few weeks, moved to Kandahar in the last three or four days, embedded with the Afghan security forces to cover the situation, according to these same sources.

“The vehicle we are traveling in with other special forces was also targeted by at least three rounds of RPGs (rocket launchers) and other weapons. I was lucky enough to be safe and capture the image of one of the rockets hitting the armor plate. high up “, Siddiqui posted on Twitter last Tuesday.

Reuters has also confirmed the death of its photographer while covering a clash near a border crossing with Pakistan, citing military sources. “We are urgently looking for more information, working with the authorities of the region,” agency president Michael Friedenberg and director Alessandra Galloni said in a statement. “Danish was an exceptional journalist, a dedicated husband and father, and a beloved companion. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”

Pulitzer Prize

Siddiqui was behind several highly relevant coverage in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the protests in Hong Kong, the earthquakes in Nepal, the games in Korea. North or the living conditions of asylum seekers in Switzerland.

In 2018, the photojournalist also became the first Indian reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize as part of the Reuters photography team.

Siddiqui’s death occurs in the context of an increase in violence by the Taliban, which in the last two months have increased their activity after the start of the withdrawal of troops from the United States and NATO on May 1. .

Since then, the Taliban have increased their armed offensive to unprecedented levels and rapidly increased their territorial gains. Over the past two months, the Taliban have captured more than 130 district centers across the country, particularly in northern Afghanistan, the biggest gains made by insurgents in the past two decades of war.

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