Reuters photographer killed in Afghanistan: ‘He used to be our eye’
A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the Reuters information carrier used to be killed Friday as he chronicled combating between Afghan forces and the Taliban close to a strategic border crossing amid the ongoing withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops.
Danish Siddiqui, 38, were embedded with Afghan particular forces for the previous few days and used to be killed because the commando unit battled for keep an eye on of the Spin Boldak crossing at the border between southern Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Siddiqui used to be a part of a crew that gained the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for characteristic images for his or her protection of Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. More not too long ago, he had captured searing photographs of Indias combat towards COVID-19 and protests towards new farming regulations.
Farhat Basir Khan, a professor of mass communications at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, lauded his former scholars sense of empathy and his decision to head after tricky and complicated tales.
“He was our eye. He gave voice and agency to thousands whose suffering might have been lost, Khan said in a statement. “If an image is value one thousand phrases, his have been value thousands and thousands.”
Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed as the special forces unit fought to retake the main market area in Spin Boldak, Reuters reported, citing the army.
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The Taliban have turned over Siddiquis body to the International Committee of the Red Cross, Indian authorities said.
Reuters said it was seeking more information about how Siddiqui was killed, describing him as a “trustworthy husband and father, and a much-loved colleague.”
“It is so devastating for me to consider that I wont be chatting with Danish anymore,” said Ahmad Masood, Asia Editor for Reuters Pictures. “A sort-hearted human being. He used to be the most productive of the most productive, as an individual and a pro. His paintings speaks volumes of his bravery and his pastime in photojournalism. He cared.”
Deputy State Department spokeperson Jalina Porter expressed U.S. condolences, saying Siddiqui was “celebrated for his paintings regularly within the worlds maximum pressing and difficult information tales and for growing hanging photographs that conveyed a wealth of emotion and the human face in the back of the headlines.”
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“Siddiquis demise is an incredible loss, now not just for Reuters and for his media colleagues but in addition for the remainder of the sector,” she said.
The fighting around Spin Boldak comes as the U.S. and NATO forces complete the final phase of their withdrawal from Afghanistan, opening the door for the Taliban to take control of large swaths of territory. District after district has fallen to the Taliban and the insurgents have in past weeks seized several key border crossings, putting more pressure on the Afghan government and cutting off strategic trade routes.
A native of New Delhi, Siddiqui was a self-taught photographer who had been a defense correspondent for one of Indias leading television networks before he decided to change careers.
Siddiqui said he became frustrated because television news focused only on the big stories, not the small features from the interior of India that he wanted to explore, according to a 2018 interview with Forbes India. He left his well-paid TV job in 2010 to become an intern at Reuters.
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A montage of his best work compiled by Reuters includes photos of traditional Indian wrestlers covered in mud, Hindu priests praying in a cave above the River Ganges and a man covered in lint feeding cotton into aging machinery by hand.
“While I experience protecting information tales from trade to politics to sports activities what I experience maximum is taking pictures the human face of a breaking tale, he wrote in a profile at the Reuters web site. “I really like covering issues that affect people as the result of different kind of conflicts.
Siddiqui and his colleagues were honored with 2018 Pulitzer Prize for what the judges called “surprising images that revealed the sector to the violence Rohingya refugees confronted in fleeing Myanmar.”
One of his prize-winning images shows an exhausted woman crumpled on the sand, while in the background men behind her unload the boat that carried them to safety in Bangladesh.
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Capturing the images was difficult, as the photographers had to walk barefoot for up to four hours through rice fields to reach the border area, Siddiqui told Forbes.
“Its an emotional factor too, he stated. “I am the father of a two-year-old and to see kids drowning is terrible. But, as a journalist, youve got to do your job. Im happy I was able to balance profession and emotion and know when to drop my camera to save kids left in water by fishermen.
Siddiqui covered the conflict Iraq, earthquakes in Nepal and demonstrations in Hong Kong. But in recent months he turned his lens on the COVID-19 pandemic in India, offering searing images of those who suffered and died without adequate medical care and oxygen.
“I shoot for the average guy who desires to look and really feel a tale from a spot the place he cant be provide himself, he wrote.
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Included a number of the social media tributes to Siddiqui used to be considered one of his posts from the Pulitzer Prize rite in New York. It confirmed a closeup of the identify tag that recognized him because the “2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner Feature Photography.
“For Sarah and Yunus,” he wrote above the picture, remembering his kids as he gained the distinguished award.