'Taliban verified Danish Siddiqui's identity, then killed him': Expert

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jul 30, 2021, 01:11 PM(IST)

Danish Siddiqui Photograph:( Twitter )

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Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed during clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghanistan’s security forces near a border crossing with Pakistan.

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was not merely killed in a crossfire but "brutally executed" by the Taliban after they verified his identification, an expert has claimed.

Siddiqui, a Reuters photo journalist, was murdered while documenting confrontations between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in Kandahar's Spin Boldak region. 

Siddiqui travelled to the Spin Boldak region with an Afghan National Army team to cover combat between Afghan forces and the Taliban over control of the lucrative Pakistani border crossing, Micheal Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote.

A Taliban attack split the unit when they came within a third of a mile of the customs post, with the commander and a few men separated from Siddiqui, who remained with three other Afghan troops, Rubin wrote in Washington Examiner.

Siddiqui was struck by shrapnel during the assault, so he and his crew went to a nearby mosque for first help.

However, when word got out that a journalist was inside the mosque, the Taliban attacked.

According to Rubin, local research indicates that the Taliban assaulted the mosque solely because of Siddiqui's presence there. 

"Siddiqui was alive when the Taliban captured him. The Taliban verified Siddiqui's identity and then executed him, as well as those with him. The commander and the remainder of his team died as they tried to rescue him," he wrote.

Danish Siddiqui

"While a widely circulated public photograph shows Siddiqui's face recognisable, I reviewed other photographs and a video of Siddiqui's body provided to me by a source in the Indian government that show the Taliban beat Siddiqui around the head and then riddled his body with bullets,"

On July 13, he last posted a Twitter thread with photos reporting what he was seeing there. 

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In 2018, Siddiqui and another Reuters journalist won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Rohingya crisis.

He covered the Afghanistan war, the Hong Kong riots, and other key events in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe extensively. 

A sea of mourners arrived to pay their last respects at the Jamia Millia Islamia graveyard, where Siddiqui was laid to rest.

On July 18, his body landed at Delhi airport and was later transported to his home in Jamia Nagar, where a large crowd had assembled, including his family and friends.

(With inputs from agencies) 

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