Reuters photographer murdered in Afghanistan

London (AP) — Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed Friday after recording a battle between Afghan and Taliban across strategic borders as U.S. and NATO troops continue to withdraw Was done.

Denmark’s Sidiki, 38, has been part of Afghanistan’s special forces for the past few days and was killed as Commando fought for control of the Spinboldak crossing on the southern Afghan-Pakistan border.

Siddiqui was part of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning team for reporting Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. Most recently, he captured a scorching image of India’s struggle against COVID-19 and protests against the new agricultural law.

Farhat Bashir Khan, a professor of media at the University of Jamia Millie Slamia in New Delhi, praised his ex-student’s empathy and determination to pursue difficult and complex stories.

“He was our eyes. He gave voices and agents to thousands of people who may have lost their suffering,” Khan said in a statement. “If the photo deserves a thousand words, he was worth millions.”

Senior officers in Sidiki and Afghanistan were killed as special forces fought to recapture Spin Boldak’s main market area, according to Reuters.

According to Indian authorities, the Taliban handed over Sidiki’s body to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Reuters said he wanted more information about how Sidiki was killed, describing him as “a devoted husband and father, and a highly beloved colleague.”

Ahmad Masoud, Asian editor of Reuters Pictures, said: “A kind-hearted person … he was the best person and professional. His work speaks to his courage and passion for photojournalism. He cares.”

The battle for Spinboldak takes place when the US and NATO forces complete the final stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban opens the door to control the vast territory. As the district fell into the Taliban one after another, rebels occupied several important border crossings in the past few weeks, putting more pressure on the Afghan government and blocking strategic trade routes.

Originally from New Delhi, Siddiqui was a self-taught photographer who was a defense correspondent on one of India’s leading television networks before deciding to change jobs.

According to a 2018 interview with Forbes India, Sidiki was frustrated because the television news focused only on the big story, not the small features from within India that he wanted to explore. He quit his high-paying television job in 2010 and became a Reuters intern.

A montage of his best work, edited by Reuters, is a traditional Indian wrestler covered in mud, a Hindu monk praying in a cave above the Ganges, and hand-cottoning a dilapidated machine. Contains a picture of a man covered in lint.

“I enjoy taking news stories from business to politics to sports, but what I enjoy most is catching breaking human faces,” he said on a Reuters website profile. I am writing in. “I really like to address issues that affect people as a result of different types of conflicts.”

Siddiqui and his colleagues received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for what the judges called “a shocking photo of the world exposed to the violence faced by Rohingya refugees during their flight from Myanmar.”

One of his award-winning images shows an exhausted woman crumpled on the sand. In the background, a man behind her is unloading a boat to carry safely in Bangladesh.

It was difficult to capture the image, Siddiqui told Forbes, as the photographer had to walk barefoot in the rice fields for up to four hours to reach the border.

“That’s also emotional,” he said. “I’m a two-year-old father and it’s terrible to see children drowning. But as a journalist, you have to do your job. Balance your profession and emotions, fisherman I’m happy to know when to drop the camera to save the children left in the water. “

Siddiqui covered the Iraqi conflict, the earthquake in Nepal, and a demonstration in Hong Kong. However, in recent months he has turned his lens to the COVID-19 pandemic in India, providing images of the scorching heat of those who died suffering without proper medical care and oxygen.

“I shoot for the common people who want to see and feel the story from a place where they can’t exist,” he writes.

Among the social media compliments to Siddiqui was one of his posts from the Pulitzer Prize award ceremony in New York. It showed a close-up of the name tag that identified him as a “feature photo of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners”.

“For Sarah and Yunus,” he wrote on the image, remembering the children when they received the prestigious award.


Ganon reported from Islamabad. Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez of Kabul, Afghanistan, and Krutika Pathi and Ashok Sharma of New Delhi contributed to this report.

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