The last tragic photos of the Taliban photographer were killed after he was left by the Afghan army – World News

Danesh Siddiqui, a 38-year-old Reuters photojournalist, and two Afghan commandos were killed in a Taliban attack – and his family believes his body was mutilated.

Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui was a “Lam’a” colleague and father of two

An award-winning photojournalist covering the takeover of power in Afghanistan is abandoned by the withdrawal of Afghan army commandos and killed by the Taliban.

Danesh Siddiqui, a 38-year-old fellow Reuters star based in New Delhi, decided he wanted to help cover the Taliban’s power grab, and told his boss, “If we don’t go, who will?”

But on July 16, Siddiqui and two Afghan commandos were killed in a Taliban attack while on a mission, a failed attempt to retake the key border town of Spin Boldak.

His company says it is understood that he was initially hit by shrapnel from a missile.

Afghan security officials and Indian government officials told Reuters that based on photos, intelligence and an examination of Siddiqi’s body, his body was mutilated while in Taliban custody after his death. The Taliban denies this.



Afghan Special Forces Humvees are seen destroyed during violent clashes with the Taliban. Photo was taken by my friend on July 13
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picture:

Reuters)




Reuters was unable to determine whether the Taliban deliberately killed my friend or desecrated his body.

But Siddiqi’s family said they believe he was brutally murdered and his body mutilated.

“We reiterate our demand that the matter should be pursued to bring the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice,” the family’s statement said.

“Danish was not only an outstanding professional, but also a wonderful human being who captured the truth through his lens,” Siddiqui’s family said in a statement.



My friend also took this picture of a cell tower and an abandoned police car
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picture:

Reuters)




On Sunday, July 11, Siddiqui, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for Photography with colleagues for his iconic images of the exodus of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in 2018, arrived at an Afghan Special Forces base in Kandahar.

Join a unit of several hundred special forces commandos tasked with driving out Taliban fighters who in the past few weeks have been steadily seizing territory.

On Tuesday, July 13, my friend joined a successful mission to rescue a policeman who was surrounded by gunmen.

His convoy was returning when it came under rocket fire.



An Afghan soldier fires a rocket-propelled grenade in a clash near Spin Boldak in a photo taken by my friend, who was killed the same day.
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picture:

Reuters)




His Humvee was hit by an RPG and destroyed three other cars.

My friend captured on video the flash and shock as a grenade landed on the side of his car as the commandos in front moved through the volley.

But three days later, on July 16, Siddiqui and two Afghan Special Forces were killed in a Taliban attack while on another mission, a failed attempt to retake the key border town of Spin Boldak.

Family and colleagues were shocked to learn of my friend’s death when grim images of his body started circulating on social media.

Initial reports indicated that Siddiqui was killed in a shootout while trying to take pictures in the bazaar at Spin Boldak, a hotly contested Afghan border crossing with Pakistan.



Another picture my friend took of an Afghan soldier
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picture:

Reuters)




But examination of Siddiqi’s communications with Reuters and testimonies of an Afghan Special Forces commander show that Siddiqui was initially hit by shrapnel from a missile, his company said.

He was taken to a local mosque for treatment.

According to the senior Afghan officer, he was killed after abandoning with two soldiers in confusion from the retreat.

Maj. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, who was the Afghan Special Operations Corps commander when he hosted my friend in Kandahar, told Reuters it was now clear that in heavy fighting his soldiers withdrew from Spin Boldak, leaving my friend and two commandos escorted with him. They mistakenly thought that they had joined the retreating caravan.

His account was confirmed by four soldiers who said they witnessed the attack.

“They were left there,” Alizi said.



A tracking bullet was seen crossing the tire by a roadblock near Spin Boldak
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picture:

Reuters)




Other circumstances surrounding Siddiqui’s death remain unclear.

British ballistics expert Philip Boyce of Forensic Equity reviewed photos posted on social media shortly after the attack and compared them to photos and x-rays taken after my friend’s body was recovered from the Taliban.

Boyce concluded, “It is clear that he was shot several times after his death.”

Some reports have also claimed that his body was run over by a car, although Boyce said the damage observed in the photos was consistent with gunshots and not necessarily other types of post-mortem injuries.









Reuters says the death of the distinguished colleague and father of two has caused distress within the company.

Reuters, a unit of Thomson Reuters, said in a statement that publishing decisions are “made collectively.”

Editor-in-chief Alessandra Galoni, in a written statement, said she had agreed to include my friend in the Afghan Special Forces.

“As editor in chief, I take full responsibility for the decision,” she wrote.

Reuters said the events surrounding Siddiqui’s death were subject to internal and external reviews and that the company was working hard to verify the facts.

In an email to employees on July 23, Galloni called my friend “our brilliant colleague and loyal friend” and praised his consistent gaze that exposed uncomfortable truths.

And she continued, “I also know that many of you want answers. And so do we.”

She said the ongoing review process “includes a detailed examination of our security procedures.”

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