Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Killed in Afghanistan

Danish Siddiqui was embedded with Afghan troops in covering the US withdrawal
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2021 4:30 PM CDT
Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Killed in Afghanistan
Reuters photographer Danish Siddiqui covers monsoon floods and landslides in Indian in 2013.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who documented war, the toll of the pandemic and the violent plight of refugees, was killed in a Taliban attack Friday in Afghanistan. He was 38. Siddiqui, who was based in Mumbai as Reuters' chief photographer in India, was embedded with Afghan forces to cover the US withdrawal, the BBC reports. He told his editors Friday that he'd been wounded in the arm by shrapnel during a battle between Taliban and Afghan forces in the town of Spin Boldak and had received treatment, per NPR. While he interviewed shopkeepers later in the day, the Taliban again attacked, killing Siddiqui, an Afghan commander said. Victims included a senior Afghan officer, but it wasn't clear if others were killed. Reuters issued a statement saying it's seeking more information. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement that he was "deeply saddened with the shocking reports" of Siddiqui's death.

"Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague," the Reuters statement said. Siddiqui won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for his coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh. He was recognized for "shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar," the citation said. His recent work included covering the COVID-19 devastation in India; his work brought him praise from around the world, as well as criticism for photographing mass cremations of the disease's victims. The head of Afghanistan's biggest media company called Siddiqui "an extremely brave and talented journalist," while saying his killing brings home the risks journalists face there. "I shoot for the common man," Siddiqui had written, "who wants to see and feel a story from a place where he can't be present himself." NPR posted several of Siddiqui's photographs here. (Read more journalists killed stories.)

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