Danish Siddiqui, a 38-year-old photojournalist for Reuters, and two Afghan commandos have been killed in a Taliban assault – his household believes his physique was mutilated
A prize-winning photojournalist overlaying the takeover in Afghanistan was deserted by retreating Afghan military commandos and killed by the Taliban.
Danish Siddiqui, a 38-year-old star colleague for Reuters based mostly in New Delhi, determined he wished to assist cowl the Taliban takeover, telling a boss: “If we do not go, who will?”
However on July 16, Siddiqui and two Afghan commandos have been killed in a Taliban assault whereas on a mission, a failed try to retake the important thing border city of Spin Boldak.
It’s understood he was first injured by shrapnel from a rocket, his firm says.
Afghan safety officers and Indian authorities officers have instructed Reuters that, based mostly on pictures, intelligence and an examination of Siddiqui’s physique, his physique was mutilated whereas in Taliban custody after his loss of life. The Taliban denies this.
Reuters was unable to independently decide if the Taliban intentionally killed Siddiqui or desecrated his physique.
However Siddiqui’s household stated it believes that he was brutally murdered and his physique mutilated.
“We reiterate our demand that the matter needs to be pursued to convey the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice,” the assertion by the household stated.
In an announcement, Siddiqui’s household stated, “Danish was not solely an excellent skilled but additionally a beautiful human being who captured the reality via his lens.”
On Sunday, July 11, Siddiqui, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for function pictures with colleagues for his iconic photos of the Rohingya refugee exodus from Myanmar in 2018, arrived at a base of the Afghan Particular Forces in Kandahar.
He embedded with a unit of a number of hundred elite commandos tasked with flushing out Taliban fighters who in the last few weeks had been steadily capturing territory.
On Tuesday, July 13, Siddiqui joined a profitable mission to rescue a policeman who was surrounded by insurgents.
His convoy was returning when it got here underneath hearth from rocket-propelled grenades.
The Humvee he was travelling in was hit by one of many RPGs and three different autos have been destroyed.
Siddiqui captured on video the flash and jolt as a grenade struck the aspect of his automobile and the commandos up entrance drove via the barrage.
However three days later, on July 16, Siddiqui and two Afghan commandos have been killed in a Taliban assault whereas on one other mission, a failed try to retake the important thing border city of Spin Boldak.
Household and colleagues have been devastated to be taught of Siddiqui’s loss of life when grim photos of his physique started circulating on social media.
Preliminary reviews indicated Siddiqui was killed in crossfire whereas attempting to take pictures within the bazaar at Spin Boldak, a hotly contested Afghan border crossing with Pakistan.
However an examination of Siddiqui’s communications with Reuters and accounts from an Afghan Particular Forces commander present that Siddiqui was first injured by shrapnel from a rocket, his firm says.
He was evacuated to an area mosque for therapy.
In line with the highest Afghan officer, he was killed after being deserted with two troopers within the confusion of a retreat.
Main-Normal Haibatullah Alizai, who was the commander of Afghanistan’s Particular Operations Corps when it hosted Siddiqui in Kandahar, instructed Reuters it was evident now that, in fierce preventing, his troopers withdrew from Spin Boldak and left behind Siddiqui and two commandos accompanying him, mistakenly pondering that they had joined the retreating convoy.
His account was corroborated by 4 troopers who say they witnessed the assault.
“They have been left there,” Alizai stated.
Different circumstances surrounding Siddiqui’s loss of life are nonetheless not clear.
A British ballistics skilled, Philip Boyce of Forensic Fairness, reviewed pictures posted on social media quickly after the assault and in contrast them with footage and X-rays taken after Siddiqui’s physique was recovered from the Taliban.
Boyce concluded it was “evident that he was shot a number of additional instances after he was killed.”
Some reviews even have claimed his physique was run over by a automobile although Boyce stated the harm noticed within the pictures was per gunshots and did not essentially suggest different kinds of autopsy damage.
Reuters say the loss of life of the distinguished colleague and father of two younger youngsters has precipitated anguish inside the firm.
Reuters, a unit of Thomson Reuters Inc, stated in an announcement deployment selections “are made collectively.”
Editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni, in a written assertion, stated she agreed to Siddiqui’s embed with Afghan Particular Forces.
“As editor-in-chief, I take full accountability for the choice,” she wrote.
Reuters stated the occasions surrounding Siddiqui’s loss of life are the topic of inner and exterior critiques and the corporate is working exhausting to confirm the info.
In an e-mail to workers on July 23, Galloni referred to as Siddiqui “our good colleague and devoted pal” and praised his unwavering gaze that uncovered uncomfortable truths.
She continued: “I additionally know a lot of you need solutions. We do too.”
The evaluate course of that is underneath approach, she stated, “features a detailed examination of our safety procedures.”