NEW DELHI — The body of Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photojournalist who was killed in Afghanistan this month, was badly mutilated while in the custody of the Taliban, officials said this week.
The revelation comes amid concern that the fighting in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have carried out an aggressive military offensive since the United States withdrew nearly all its troops, has become increasingly brutal as peace talks have stalled.
Mr. Siddiqui, 38, an Indian national who took some of the most memorable news photographs from South Asia in recent years, was killed on the morning of July 16, when Afghan commandos he had accompanied to Spin Boldak, a border district recently captured by the Taliban, were ambushed. Initial photographs from the scene showed Mr. Siddiqui’s body with multiple wounds but fully intact.
But by that evening, when the body was handed over to the Red Cross and transferred to a hospital in the southern city of Kandahar, it had been badly mutilated, according to two Indian officials and two Afghan health officials there. The mutilation was reported by an Indian website, Newslaundry, in the days after Mr. Siddiqui’s killing.
The New York Times reviewed multiple photographs, some provided by Indian officials and others taken by Afghan health workers at the hospital, that showed Mr. Siddiqui’s body had been mutilated. One Indian official said that the body had nearly a dozen bullet wounds and that there were tire marks on Mr. Siddiqui’s face and chest.
One of the health officials in Kandahar said that the body, along with Mr. Siddiqui’s press vest, had reached the
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