Body of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui handed over by Taliban to Red Cross: Sources

NEW DELHI: The body of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, killed in Kandahar in Afghanistan, has been handed over by the Taliban to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), sources said on Friday.

India has been informed about the handing over of the body by the Taliban to the ICRC and Indian authorities are working on bringing it back, they said.

Siddiqui was killed in Kandahar on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters.

“We have been informed that the body has been handed over by the Taliban to the ICRC. We are actively facilitating the return of the body in coordination with Afghan authorities and the ICRC,” said a source.

The sources said the Indian embassy in Kabul is in touch with Afghan authorities to bring back Siddiqui’s mortal remains.

Earlier, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the government is in touch with the photojournalist’s family.

Afghanistan’s Tolo News, quoting sources, reported that Siddiqui was killed during clashes in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar.

It said fierce fighting has been underway in Kandahar, especially in Spin Boldak, for the last few days.

Afghanistan witnessed a series of terror attacks in the last few weeks as the US withdrew the majority of its troops from the country and aimed to complete the drawdown by August 31, ending nearly two-decade of its military presence in the country.

The Taliban was evicted from power by the US-led forces in 2001.

Now, as the US is pulling back its troops, the Taliban fighters are attempting to gain control of various parts of the country.