The Taliban has said it does know how Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed and expressed regret over the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s death in Afghanistan’s Kandahar during clashes between its fighters and Afghan forces. “We are not aware during whose firing the journalist was killed. We do not know how he died,” Taliban’s spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told CNN-News18 on Friday.
“Any journalist entering the war zone should inform us. We will take proper care of that particular individual,” Mujahid was quoted as saying by CNN-News18. “We are sorry for Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui’s death. We regret that journalists are entering war zone without intimation to us,” he added.
Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters journalist, was killed on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan, the news agency cited an Afghan commander as saying. He was 38.
The Afghan commander told Reuters that Afghan special forces had been fighting to retake the main market area of Spin Boldak when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what they described as Taliban crossfire. Reuters reported that Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed as the special forces unit fought to retake the main market area in Spin Boldak.
“We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region. Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time,” Reuters president Michael Friedenberg and editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.
News agency PTI reported citing people familiar with the matter that the Taliban has handed the body of Danish Siddiqui to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). India has been informed about the handing over of the body by the Taliban to ICRC and Indian authorities are working on bringing it back, it reported.