© Reuters. File photo: Reuters reporter Sidi Kei took a group photo in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 8, 2021.Reuters/Mohamed Ismail
Spinbodak, Afghanistan (Reuters)-An Afghan commander said that Reuters journalist Siddiqui, Denmark, was killed on Friday while reporting on a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban militants near the border with Pakistan.
The official told Reuters that when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan official were killed in what they called the Taliban exchange, Afghan special forces had been fighting to retake Spin Boldak’s main market area.
Since earlier this week, Siddiqui has been working as a reporter for the Afghan special forces stationed in the southern Kandahar province and has been covering the fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters.
“We are urgently seeking more information to cooperate with the authorities in the region,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alexandra Galloni said in a statement.
“The Danish is an excellent reporter, a loyal husband and father, and a beloved colleague. We are with his family at this terrible time.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement on Twitter saying that he was “deeply saddened” by the shocking report of Siddiqui’s death and expressed condolences to his family.
Siddiqui told Reuters that he was injured in the arm by shrapnel when reporting the conflict earlier Friday. He received medical treatment, and the Taliban fighters later retreated from the fight in Spin Boldak.
The Afghan commander said that when the Taliban launched another attack, Siddiqui had been talking to the shopkeeper.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the details of the re-fighting described by Afghan military officials. He asked not to be named before the Afghan Ministry of Defense issued a statement.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the Taliban did not know that a reporter had reported what he called “violent fighting” from the scene, nor did it know how Siddiqui was killed.
Siddiqui, a member of the Reuters photography team, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis. The jury called the series “shocking photos, exposing the world to Rohing while escaping from Myanmar.” The violence faced by refugees in Asia”.
A Reuters photographer since 2010, Siddiqui’s work covers the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong protests and the Nepal earthquake. In recent months, his scorching photos of the coronavirus pandemic in India have been published around the world.
Taliban militants occupied the border area on Wednesday, the second largest border crossing with Pakistan, and one of the most important goals they achieved during the rapid national advancement of the U.S. military withdrawing after 20 years of conflict.
The United Nations said in a report this year that between 2018 and 2021, 33 journalists were killed in Afghanistan.
On April 30, 2018, 10 journalists were killed, including 9 journalists and photographers killed in the suicide bombing in Kabul, and a BBC Afghan language service reporter who was shot and killed in the eastern city of Khost.
That day was the deadliest day for the country’s media since the Taliban were expelled from a US-led movement in 2001.
On November 19, 2001, Reuters reporter Harry Burton from Australia and Azizullah Haidari, born in Afghanistan, were also killed by gunmen who stopped their convoy on the way from the Pakistan border to Kabul. They went to Kabul to report on the fall of the Taliban regime.