India condemns Danish Siddiqui’s killing; Taliban give body to Red Cross | India News

NEW DELHI: The body of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed while covering the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan on Friday, has been handed over to the Red Cross by the Taliban, government sources said.
Expressing condolences to Siddiqui’s family, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said the journalist, who was employed by an international news agency, had been killed while covering the Taliban atrocities in Kandahar.
Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla condemned the killing of the journalist while speaking at the UN Security Council on Friday.
According to reports from Kabul, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was embedded with Afghan troops who were ambushed by the Taliban near the Spin Boldak border crossing. “While I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr 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,” said Ghani.
The Indian embassy in Kabul was in touch with Afghan authorities to bring back the mortal remains of Siddiqui, officials here said. “We are actively facilitating the return of the body in coordination with Afghan authorities and the ICRC. We are in regular touch with family members of Siddiqui,” said a source here.
Afghanistan’’s Tolo News, quoting sources, reported that Siddiqui was killed during clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar. It said that fierce fighting has been under way in Kandahar, especially at Spin Boldak, for the last few days. Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of shielding the Taliban forces who claim to have taken over the border crossing with Pakistan.
Afghanistan has witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks with the US withdrawing majority of its troops from the country and aiming to complete the drawdown by August 31, ending nearly two decades of its military presence in the country.

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