Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was not simply killed in a crossfire in Afghanistan, nor was he simply collateral damage, but was “brutally murdered” by the Taliban after verifying his identity, according to a report published in a US-based magazine on Thursday.
Siddiqui, 38, was on assignment in Afghanistan when he died. The award-winning journalist was killed while covering clashes between Afghan troops and the Taliban in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city. According to the Washington Examiner report, Siddiqui travelled with an Afghan National Army team to the Spin Boldak region to cover fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban to control the lucrative border crossing with Pakistan. When they got to within one-third of a mile of the customs post, a Taliban attack split the team, with the commander and a few men separated from Siddiqui, who remained with three other Afghan troops. During this assault, shrapnel hit Siddiqui, and so he and his team went to a local mosque where he received first aid. As word spread, however, that a journalist was in the mosque, the Taliban attacked. The local investigation suggests the Taliban attacked the mosque only because of Siddiqui’s presence there, the report said. The Taliban’s decision to hunt down, execute Siddiqui, and then mutilate his corpse shows that they do not respect the rules of war or conventions that govern the behaviour of the global community, the report said.