Danish Siddiqui, a Reuters journalist, was killed while documenting a skirmish between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a Pakistani border crossing, according to an Afghan commander.
The official told Reuters news agency on Friday that Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what they characterized as "Taliban crossfire" while trying to reclaim the major market area of Spin Boldak.
Siddiqui had been reporting on the battle between Afghan commandos and Taliban insurgents since earlier this week when he was embedded as a journalist with Afghan special forces operating in the southern province of Kandahar.
In a statement, Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said, "We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region."
“Danish was a great journalist, a loving husband and father, and a well-liked coworker. At this difficult time, our sympathies are with his family.”
Siddiqui told Reuters that he was hit in the arm by shrapnel while covering the fight earlier on Friday. When Taliban fighters retreated from the battle in Spin Boldak, he was being treated and recovering.
According to the Afghan officer, Siddiqui was talking to shops when the Taliban hit again.
Reuters said it was unable to independently verify the facts of the resumed combat recounted by an Afghan military official who requested anonymity until the Afghan Defense Ministry issued a statement.
For photographing the Rohingya refugee crisis, Siddiqui was part of the Reuters photography team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2018.
Siddiqui has been a Reuters photographer since 2010, covering battles in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, Hong Kong riots, and the Nepal earthquakes.
On Wednesday, Taliban insurgents took control of the border sector, the second-largest crossing on the Pakistani border and one of the most crucial objectives they've won during a swift push across the country as US forces withdraw.