It has been reported that Danish Siddiqui, the award-winning Reuters photojournalist who was covering the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, has been killed and mutilated by Taliban fighters.
Siddiqui was killed during the Taliban’s takeover of Spin Boldak in southern Afghanistan, according to the Daily Mail.
The story goes that Siddiqui was hurt by rocket shrapnel and was left behind by the Afghan army he was embedded with when they retreated before he was found by the Taliban fighters.
It’s been said that the poor guy asked his bosses if they could send him to Afghanistan, saying, “If we don’t go, who will?”
He arrived at a Kandahar Afghan Special Forces base on July 11. He was then embedded in a unit of several hundred elite commandos that were attempting to flush out Taliban fighters that were capturing sections of the country.
The photojournalist was traveling in a convoy that was coming back from a mission to rescue a surrounded policeman when the convoy was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades, otherwise known as RPGs.
Siddiqui was able to video when an RPG hit the Humvee he was traveling in. The Taliban attack completely destroyed three other vehicles that were part of the convoy.
Siddiqui was caught in the crossfire on July 16 as he was photographing an Afghan offensive in Spin Boldak. During that offensive, the Reuters journalist was injured by shrapnel from a rocket.
He was then transported to a local mosque to be treated. At that point, the soldiers withdrew from Spin Boldak, according to Afghanistan’s Special Operations commander Major-General Haibatullah Alizai.
The Afghan troops left Siddiqui behind. It was believed by the convoy that the two commandos who were with him had all joined with the retreating convoy.
“They were left there,” Alizai said.
Afghan security officials, along with representatives of the Indian government, told Reuters that based on photos that were shared online, it looks like Siddiqui’s body had been mutilated after he died.
British ballistics expert Philip Boyce of Forensic Equity compared the photos to x-rays and pictures of Siddiqui’s body once it was reclaimed after the Taliban left.
According to Boyce, the photos show that it was “evident that he was shot multiple further times after he was killed,” according to the Daily Mail.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, of course said the Taliban found his body that way and that the Taliban had nothing to do with it. So we are to believe that the Afghan troops he was embedded with did it?
In the aftermath of Siddiqui’s death, some journalists of Reuters are now questioning the decision to let the photojournalist remain in Afghanistan.
According to the Daily Mail, “Members of the newsroom familiar with the decision-making say Siddiqui’s embed with soldiers in Afghanistan was backed by senior photo editors, vetted by external advisers and newsroom managers who handle security, and reviewed by a group of top editors who regularly meet to consider potentially dangerous assignments.”
Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni stepped up and in a written statement she said that she was the one who agreed to Siddiqui’s embed with Afghan Special Forces. “As editor-in-chief, I take full responsibility for the decision,” she wrote.
In a July 23 email to Reuters staff, Galloni wrote that Siddiqui was “our brilliant colleague and devoted friend.” She added, “I also know many of you want answers. We do too.” The review process that’s under way, she said, “includes a detailed examination of our security procedures.”
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The Saudi government assassinated journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Our news media went toys-in-the-attic, bat guano crazy on then President Donald Trump, going so far as to blame him for Khashoggi’s murder because Trump didn’t start a war with Saudi Arabia over his death. Despite Trump having absolutely nothing to do with Khashoggi’s assassination and despite the fact that Khashoggi was not an American citizen, the press ripped on Trump, anyway, for “doing nothing.” What was he supposed to do? I have to wonder if the same lying news media will hound Joe Biden the same way over Siddiqui’s death? I’m not going to hold my breath.
Rich is a conservative syndicated opinion writer and runs Maga-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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