UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday expressed grief at the killing of Indian photo-journalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan, with the UN mission in the war-torn country calling for an investigation into his killing as well as those of other reporters.
The Secretary General grieves the journalists killed or indeed harassed anywhere in the world and the case of Danish Siddiqui is one such case, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing on Friday.
Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize winning Indian photojournalist who worked for Reuters news agency, was killed on Friday in Afghanistan while covering the fierce fighting between Afghan troops and the Taliban militants near a border crossing with Pakistan in Kandahar province.
Siddiqui, 38, was on an assignment covering the clashes in the volatile Kandahar region, as the US withdraws its forces from Afghanistan ahead of the August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden. Afghan special forces had been fighting to retake the main market area of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what they described as Taliban crossfire, an Afghan commander told Reuters.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that our photographer, Danish Siddiqui, has been killed in Afghanistan,” Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement. He was embedded with Afghanitan special forces in Kandahar province when they came under attack on Friday morning.
“Danish was an outstanding, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time, they said.
“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region,” the statement said.