Hours after the death of an Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan, the Taliban on Thursday denied a role in his death.
The demise of the young journalist, employed with UK-based news agency Reuters, was first reported by Afghanistan-based television channel TOLOnews. As per reports, the slain journalist’s body was handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) around 5 pm (local time) on Thursday.
According to a report by CNN-News18, the Taliban has denied any role in the killing of Danish Siddiqi and expressed regret for the demise of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. Dismissing any role in Siddiqui’s killing, Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, as quoted by CNN-News18 said, “We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died.”
“Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that particular individual. We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us,” the report further quoted Mujahid as saying.
Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer prize awardee, was working with global news agency Reuters. He died during clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar on Friday. He was there in Kandahar to cover the tense situation in the province as the Taliban advanced to the key border crossing Pakistan.
Meanwhile, India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also condemned the killing of Danish Siddiqui at Kandahar province in Afghanistan. He also extended condolences to the bereaved family of the journalists at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Friday.
“We condemn the killing of Indian photographer Danish Siddiqui while he was on a reporting assignment in Kandahar in Afghanistan yesterday. I extend our sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” Shringla said.
In a tweet, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the killing of the journalist was a painful reminder of mounting dangers faced by media in Afghanistan. “Media working in Afghanistan and journalism itself in the country is under increasing threat. Our deep condolences to the family & friends of @dansiddiqi. A painful reminder of mounting dangers faced by media in Afghanistan. Authorities must investigate this and all killing of reporters,” the UNAMA tweeted.