Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui is dead after having inadvertently been left behind in Afghanistan in July during an Afghan military retreat.
reports that Major-General Haibatullah Alizai and other soldiers say that Siddiqui was likely discovered and ultimately murdered by the Taliban.
Just three days ahead of Siddiqui’s violent death, Reuters published an account of the late photographer’s experience in Kandahar accompanying Afghan commandos in a rescue mission.
What are the details?
reports, Siddiqui, a 38-year-old Reuters photographer, was said to have been killed on July 16 along with two Afghan commandos after the military retreated in a fight to to take Spin Boldak, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Alizai, commander of the country’s Special Operations Corps, and four other soldiers said that Siddiqui and the two commandos were reportedly mistakenly left behind “after the soldiers believed the three already retreated.”
At least one mutilated body was reportedly discovered in Taliban custody, and reports soon emerged suggesting that neither Siddiqui nor the two commandos made it out of the town to safety after all.
Images of the late photojournalist’s body reportedly began circulating on social media, and was ultimately identified and recovered after Reuters and Forensic Equity recognized the body as belonging to Siddiqui.
Forensic Equity ballistics expert Philip Boyce said that it was “evident” that Siddiqui was “shot multiple further times after he was killed.”
Reuters added that other reports also claimed that Siddiqui’s body, in addition to being shot and mutilated, was also run over by a vehicle.
A spokesman for the Taliban denies it had any role in Siddiqui’s death.
“We can’t say whose bullet hit Danish Siddiqui, and we had no prior information about him being in the area,” the spokesman said.
Siddiqui leaves behind a wife and two young children.
According to The Hill, Siddiqui told his boss that he felt compelled to cover Afghanistan in the weeks leading up to the country’s collapse.
“If we don’t go, who will?” he reportedly told his superiors ahead of departing to cover the terrorist-ravaged country.
Reuters stated that it completed a risk assessment before Siddiqui embedded with the country’s Special Forces.
“Don’t worry,” he reportedly told a concerned friend. “I know when to pull the plug.”