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Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui was executed by Taliban after verifying his identity: Report

WASHINGTON: Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was brutally murdered by the Taliban after verifying his identity, according to a report published in a US-based magazine. Earlier, it was reported that Danish Siddiqui was simply killed in a crossfire between Afghan forces and the Taliban in Kandahar.

The Pulitzer Prize winner was killed on July 16, Friday, while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters as part of his assignment embedded with Afghan Special Forces.

According to the Washington Examiner, Siddiqui (38) was on his way to the Spin Boldak region of Kandahar city with an Afghan National Army team. But a sudden Taliban attack split the team, separating the commander and a few men from Siddiqui, who stayed with three other Afghan forces.

Siddiqui was slightly injured during this attack, so he and his team went to a nearby mosque for first aid. But as news spread that a journalist was inside the mosque, the Taliban launched an attack. The Taliban attacked the mosque only because of Siddiqui’s presence, the report said.

“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,” the Washington Examiner reported.

The Taliban’s decision to execute Siddiqui and then mutilate his body shows that they do not adhere to the rules of war or the standards that govern the behaviour of the global community.

Danish Siddiqui was recognised as a brave journalist, and some of his major works included covering the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong protests, and the earthquakes in Nepal.

In 2018, Siddiqui and Adnan Abidi of Reuters jointly won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for their coverage of the Rohingya Refugee Crisis. It was the first time an Indian had received the Pulitzer Prize.

Siddiqui’s body arrived at the Delhi airport in the evening of July 18 and was later taken to his residence in Jamia Nagar. He was laid to rest at the Jamia Millia Islamia graveyard.

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