Kandahar: Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize winner working with international news agency Reuters, has been killed in Kandahar while on a reporting mission embedded with Afghan security forces, Afghan ambassador Farid Mamundzay said on Friday.
"Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Seddiqi in Kandahar last night. The Indian Journalist & winner of Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters," Mamundzay tweeted.
Afghanistan's Tolo News channel cited sources as saying that Siddiqui was killed in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar. No further details are available now.
Siddiqui had recently reported on a mission by Afghan special forces to rescue a policeman who had been cut off from others and had fought the Taliban for hours on his own. His reports included graphic images of vehicles of the Afghan forces being targeted with rockets.
Siddiqui had started his career as a television news correspondent and later switched to photojournalism. He joined Reuters as an intern in 2010. In 2018, Danish Siddiqui and his colleague Adnan Abidi won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya Refugee Crisis as part of the Reuters team. He was based in Mumbai, India.
Danish graduated with a degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. He had a degree in Mass Communication from the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia in 2007.
As a photojournalist, Danish Siddiqui covered wide rage of issues across the world. Some of his major works include covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Rohingya refugees crisis, Hong Kong protests and Nepal earthquakes.
Siddiqui was killed amid clashes between the Taliban and government forces, which have intensified as US-led international forces have been withdrawing from the area. The Taliban have captured several districts and border crossings in the north and west.
The government has accused the Taliban of destroying hundreds of government buildings in 29 of the country's 34 provinces. The Taliban deny accusations of extensive destruction by their fighters.
A senior Afghan government official in Kabul, Nader Nadery, said the security forces were working to push back Taliban fighters and regain control over 190 districts.
The deteriorating security situation has raised fears of a new Afghan refugee crisis. President Ashraf Ghani met regional leaders in Uzbekistan on Thursday and Pakistan said it would host a conference of senior Afghan leaders in an effort to find solutions.
(With inputs from PTI and Reuters)