New Delhi: A spokesperson for Afghan security forces has reportedly said that Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photo-journalist Danish Siddiqui was caught and killed by the Taliban in what was originally described as a death in a firefight between Taliban and Afghan forces.
Danish Siddiqui was “arrested” or seized and later executed, according to Ajmal Omar Shinwari, spokesperson for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) as per a media report.
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“No confirmation of mutilation, the matter is under investigation as the area where Danish was executed is under Taliban control, so finding witnesses is taking time,” the official said as quoted by India Today.
Danish Siddiqui, according to a report published last week by the Washington Examiner magazine in the United States, was not killed in a crossfire in Afghanistan, nor was he collateral damage. But he was brutally slaughtered by the Taliban once his identification was verified.
Siddiqui was alive when the Taliban kidnapped him, according to the report. It claimed that the Taliban confirmed Siddiqui’s identification before killing him and others with him, and that the commander and the rest of his squad died in an attempt to save him.
Ajmal Shinwari went on to say that the Taliban’s claims to territories under its control are fraudulent, that the group is sponsored and supported by Pakistan, and that the Afghan government is battling a proxy war.
“The Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State/Daesh, Al-Qaeda are all operating in Afghanistan and many terrorists and Lashkar fighters are coming in from Pakistan,” he added, IT reported.
The Defence spokesperson also urged all countries to back the Afghan army, stating that Afghan forces are powerful and will not allow the Taliban to seize control.
Danish Siddiqui was a 38-yr-old award-winning journalist. As part of the Reuters team, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for their portrayal 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.
Danish Siddiqui was laid to rest at the Jamia Millia Islamia cemetery, where a large crowd gathered to pay their condolences.