New Delhi: The Taliban on Thursday (July 16) denied any role in Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui’s demise in Afghanistan, CNN-News18 reported. In an exclusive interview to the channel, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said, “We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died.”
He added, “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,” Mujahid was quoted as saying.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was in his early 40s, was killed during clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar on Friday, sources told Afghanistan’s Tolo News. He lost his life while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters.
A curfew has been enforced in Kandahar to curb the clashes that led to the killing of Sediq Karzai, a Kandahar special forces commander, ANI reported. It was during this violence that Danish Siddiqui lost his life.
Meanwhile, India has raised the issue of Danish Siddiqui’s killing at the United Nations Security Council, extending condolences to the journalist’s family. India’s foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said, “We condemn the killing of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui while he was on a reporting assignment in Kandahar in Afghanistan yesterday. I extend our sincerest condolences to his bereaved family.”
Several world leaders including the Biden administration and US lawmakers, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have mourned the demise of Siddiqui, who worked for Reuters news agency.
Afghanistan witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks after the US withdrew the majority of its troops from the country with the aim to complete the removal by August 31, ending nearly two-decade of its military presence in the country.
(With agency inputs)