The Biden administration and US lawmakers have mourned the death of Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed in Afghanistan while covering the fighting between Afghan troops and Taliban militants.
Siddiqui, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018, worked for Reuters news agency and was killed on Friday in the town of Spin Boldak, near the border with Pakistan. He was embedded with Afghan special forces at the time of his death.
"We are deeply saddened to hear that Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering fighting in Afghanistan," Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US Department of State told reporters.
"Siddiqui was celebrated for his work often in the world's most urgent and challenging news stories and for creating striking images that conveyed a wealth of emotion and the human face behind the headlines. His brilliant reporting on the Rohingya refugee crisis earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 2018," she said.
"Siddiqui's death is a tremendous loss, not only for Reuters and for his media colleagues but also for the rest of the world. Far too many journalists have been killed in Afghanistan. We continue to call for an end to the violence. A just and durable peace settlement is the only way forward in Afghanistan," Porter said.
Senator Jim Risch, Ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed his condolences over the killing of the Indian journalist.
"The tragic death" of Reuters journalist Danish Siddiqui in Afghanistan while covering the Taliban "reminds us of the risk journalists take to share the news. No reporter should be killed while doing their job," he said.
"The death today of Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui is a tragic notice that even as the US and its partners withdraw forces, journalists will continue to work in Afghanistan, documenting whatever comes next at great risk to their lives," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator, in Washington, DC.
"Combatants need to take responsibility for safeguarding journalists, as dozens of journalists have been killed in this conflict, with little or no accountability," he said.