An American magazine on Thursday published the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was not a mere accidental death during a crossfire in Afghanistan but was brutally murdered by the Taliban after the Reuters journalist's identity was verified.
According to a report published by the Washington Examiner, Siddiqui, 38, had travelled with a team of Afghan National Army team in the Spin Boldak region to cover the fight between Afghan forces and the Taliban when he was killed on July 16.
"When they got to within one-third of a mile of the customs post, a Taliban attack split the team, with the commander and a few men separated from Siddiqui, who remained with three other Afghan troops," as reported by PTI from the WE report.
"During this assault, a shrapnel hit Siddiqui, and so he and his team went to a local mosque where he received first aid. As word spread, however, that a journalist was in the mosque, the Taliban attacked. The local investigation suggests the Taliban attacked the mosque only because of Mr Siddiqui's presence there," the report said.
"Siddiqui was alive when the Taliban captured him. The Taliban verified Siddiqui's identity and then executed him, as well as those with him. The commander and the remainder of his team died as they tried to rescue him," it said.
"While a widely circulated public photograph shows Siddiqui's face recognizable, I reviewed other photographs and a video of Siddiqui's body provided to me by a source in the Indian government that show the Taliban beat Siddiqui around the head and then riddled his body with bullets," Micheal Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote.
"The Taliban's decision to hunt down and execute Siddiqui, and then mutilate his body shows that they do not respect the rules of war or conventions that govern the behaviour of the global community," the report said.