New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday expressed grief over the demise of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed during the ongoing clashes in Afghanistan while covering the Taliban atrocities in the war-torn country.
The Afghan President reiterated his government's unwavering commitment to freedom of speech and protection of free media and journalists.
"I am deeply saddened with the shocking reports that Reuters Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering the Taliban atrocities in Kandahar," he said.
"While I extend my heartfelt condolences to Sediqqui's family and also to our media family, I reiterate my government's unwavering commitment to freedom of speech and protection of free media and journalists," he asserted.
Siddiqui was the Chief Photographer for Reuters in India. He was reported killed during the ongoing violence in Kandahar's Spin Boldak district, TOLOnews reported. This comes as the Taliban captured Spin Boldak district in Kandahar this week. Fierce fighting has been underway in Kandahar, especially in Spin Boldak.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said the Indian Ambassador in Kabul is in touch with Afghan authorities regarding this situation. "Our Ambassador in Kabul is in touch with Afghan authorities. We are keeping his (Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui's) family informed of the developments," said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
Earlier today, US Charge d'Affaires to Afghanistan Ross Wilson expressed condolences over the death of Danish Siddiqui. "I am seeing heartbreaking reports that Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui has been killed while covering fighting in Kandahar. It is a tragedy for #Afghanistan and the world that Danish is the latest of 54 reporters who have been killed or murdered," Wilson said in a tweet.
German Ambassador to India Walter Lindner also expressed grief over Siddiqui's death.
"Terrible news: Pulitzer price winning Indian Reuters photojournalist Danish Siddiqui (40) was killed today in Afghanistan while covering fighting between Afghan troops and Taliban in Kandahar. Our deepest condolences to his (German) wife, family and friends," envoy Lindner tweeted. (ANI)