Danish Siddiqui, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, who lost his life in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan was “brutally murdered” by the Taliban after verifying his identity, a report published in an American magazine said.
Siddiqui, 38, was on assignment to cover the conflict in Afghanistan and was killed on July 16.
According to the Washington Examiner report, Siddiqui travelled with an Afghan National Army team to the Spin Boldak region to cover fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban to control the lucrative border crossing with Pakistan.
When they got to within one-third of a mile of the customs post, a Taliban attack split the team, with the commander and a few men separated from Siddiqui, who remained with three other Afghan troops.
During this assault, the shrapnel hit Siddiqui, and so he and his team went to a local mosque where he received first aid, said a report published by NDTV.
As word spread, however, that a journalist was in the mosque, the Taliban attacked. The local investigation suggests the Taliban attacked the mosque only because of Siddiqui’s presence there, the report said.
“Siddiqui was alive when the Taliban captured him. The Taliban verified Siddiqui’s identity and then executed him, as well as those with him. The commander and the remainder of his team died as they tried to rescue him,” it said.
“While a widely circulated public photograph shows Siddiqui’s face recognizable, I reviewed other photographs and a video of Siddiqui’s body provided to me by a source in the Indian government that show the Taliban beat Siddiqui around the head and then riddled his body with bullets,” Micheal Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote.
The Taliban’s decision to hunt down and execute Siddiqui, and then mutilate his body shows that they do not respect the rules of war or conventions that govern the behaviour of the global community, the report said.
Siddiqui was laid to rest at the Jamia Millia Islamia graveyard where a sea of mourners gathered to pay their last respects. His body arrived at Delhi airport on July 18 and was later brought to his home in Jamia Nagar, where a huge crowd, including his family and friends, had gathered.