“An exceptional journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much appreciated colleague.

Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters photographer, was killed on Friday in Afghanistan, where he was covering fighting, the news agency reported.

The Afghan security forces tried this Friday to retake the strategic town of Spin Boldak (in the south of the country), which fell into the hands of the Taliban on Wednesday, when the photojournalist and a senior Afghan officer were fatally shot by Taliban fire, said to Reuters an Afghan army commander.

Danish Siddiqui, 38, of Indian nationality, had been accompanying Afghan security forces near Kandahar, the large city in southern Afghanistan, since the start of the week.

"We are urgently seeking more information and are working with authorities in the region," Reuters chairman Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to his family at these terrible times,” they added.

Pulitzer Prize in 2018

Earlier in the day, the photographer told Reuters that he had been injured in an arm.

He was being treated and recovering when Taliban fighters retreating from Spin Boldak fell on his whereabouts, according to the commander quoted by Reuters.

The agency said it was unable to independently verify these claims.

Danish Siddiqui was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 in the “magazine photography” category for their coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis.

He had been working for Reuters since 2010 and had covered notably the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the protests in Hong Kong or the earthquakes in Nepal.

Afghanistan has long been one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

In the 2021 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders, Afghanistan is 122nd out of 180. Several journalists or press workers have been killed in targeted attacks since Washington and the Taliban concluded in February. 2020, an agreement paving the way for the departure of foreign troops from the country.

These targeted attacks were blamed on the Taliban by the authorities, although Daesh only claimed some of them.

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