Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist for Reuters, was killed on assignment in Afghanistan last week. Siddiqui was traveling with a convoy of Afghan forces, near a border post in Pakistan, when an ambush by Taliban militants killed him and an undisclosed number of people. He was 38 years old.
‘We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region,’ Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement. ‘Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.’
Siddiqui, who is based out of Mumbai, had been working with Reuters for over a decade and was the agency’s chief photographer. He was covering violent clashes in the Kandahar region ahead of President Joe Biden’s September 11th deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan. The Taliban has been conquering more territory as forces pull out, sparking concerns that Afghanistan’s government could eventually collapse.
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In 2018, Siddiqui won a Pulitzer Prize in feature photography, alongside his colleague Adnan Abidi and five others, for coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh. His group was cited by The Pulitzer Prizes ‘for shocking photographs that exposed the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar.’
Besides covering Afghanistan and the Rohingya refugee crisis, Siddiqui was present at Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests from 2019–2020 and Nepal’s deadly wave of earthquakes in 2015. He recently sparked controversy for capturing photos that showed mass cremations of those killed by India’s COVID-19 outbreak. More of his photojournalism can be viewed on his official Instagram account.
The United Nations claims 39 photojournalists have been killed in action, between 2018 and 2021, documenting the violence in Afghanistan.