Danish journalist Siddiqui was killed while covering a clash between Afghan forces and the Taliban. The 38-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer had worked with Reuters for more than a decade.
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was killed in Afghanistan today during a clash between the Taliban and national security forces. The Danish Siddiqui was integrated into the Afghan special forces trying to recapture a key border area taken by the Taliban. He was 38 years old. NPR’s Jackie Northam reports.
JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: The Danish Siddiqui was doing what front-line photographers do: creating a visual record of the tumultuous times we live in. Siddiqui came out with the Afghan commandos when they were caught in crossfire with the Taliban. An Afghan commander was also killed. Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, says it takes tremendous courage for journalists like Siddiqui to help people understand what is happening in places like Afghanistan.
JOEL SIMON: It’s humbling to think about what journalists like the Danish Siddiqui do every day. And the fact that, you know, he’s clearly been willing to take these kinds of risks to bring us the news should serve as a reminder of how important and valuable conflict journalism is.
NORTHAM: For more than a decade as a Reuters photographer, Siddiqui had a front seat in the world’s hot spots, whether it was widespread protests in Hong Kong, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or ethnic violence and the devastating COVID outbreak in his country of source. India. In 2018, Siddiqui was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for feature-length photography for his work documenting the plight of Rohingya refugees trying to flee Myanmar. Rafael Nam, a former Reuters reporter, now with NPR, worked with Siddiqui for six years in Mumbai.
RAFAEL NAM, BYLINE: Going to a foreign country and doing a reporting assignment is when he was at his best and what he most enjoyed doing. And he was very modest in that sense. He wasn’t … oh, look at me; I am a famous wartime photographer or I am a famous person who goes out. There was always a cool element of, you know, I can’t believe I’m doing this; I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this.
NORTHAM: Originally from New Delhi, Siddiqui described himself as largely self-taught. In a Reuters tribute, he was quoted as saying that what he enjoyed the most was capturing the human face of a breaking story. Do a search for Danish Siddiqui’s photographs; will show extraordinary images that show the full range of human emotions: anguish, fear, despair, but also joy and tenderness. Siddiqui is survived by his wife and two young children.
Jackie Northam, NPR News.
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