These are among the last images and sounds captured by Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Reuters photographer who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday (July 16), while reporting on fighting between the Taliban and Afghan government forces.
Siddiqui had been embedded with Afghan special forces in Kandahar province, when he and a senior Afghan officer were killed - in what an Afghan commander said was Taliban crossfire.
The Taliban say it isn't clear how Siddiqui died. A spokesperson told Reuters it wasn't aware there was a journalist in what it described as "a fierce battle."
Danish Siddiqui was a mostly self-taught photographer originally from New Delhi in India. A married father of two, over a decade with Reuters he'd covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mass protests in Hong Kong, earthquakes in Nepal, and was on the team what won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.
He once said, it was his goal to "shoot for the common man, who wants to see and feel a story," because the reader can't experience it for themself. Earlier this year he went back to India to cover the devastation of its runaway COVID crisis.
"There are various challenges to cover this kind of story. There are technical challenges and then there are emotional challenges. Technical challenges is how to showcase this story in a dignified way, you know, and in a way that like people are, you don't go too close to it so that the dignity of the victim or the family is maintained. But you also need to show the story which is to show the scale of the devastation by this pandemic which was happening in the heart of the country."
Some of his colleagues in India have started memorials for him.
Siddiqui was reporting from a town called Spin Boldak when he was killed, on the Pakistan border. The Taliban had captured the area on Wednesday in the wake of the drawdown of U.S. and NATO forces.
Siddiqui told Reuters earlier that day that he'd been wounded by shrapnel but had been treated and was recovering.
An Afghan commander said the journalist was talking to local shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked again and he was fatally wounded.