Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui, who worked for the French news agency Reuters, was killed in clashes in Kandahar's Spin Boldak district, TOLO News reported.
An AFP report mentioned that Afghan forces had clashed with the Taliban in Spin Boldak on Friday following an operation to retake the the border crossing with Pakistan.
Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, was embedded with the Afghanistan special forces and had been reporting from the ground from Kandahar.
"We are deeply saddened to learn that our photographer, Danish Siddiqui, has been killed in Afghanistan," Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.
In a tweet on July 13, Siddiqui had posted a video of their Humvee being attacked by Taliban fighters.
A mass communication student from Jamia, Siddiqui had won the Pulitzer in 2018 for a series on the Rohingya refugees. Fifteen of his photographs, which formed part of the series that won Reuters the award, were shot in September 2017.
His work took him to Mosul and Nepal, where he photographed the carnage from the 2015 earthquake. Siddiqui's stirring stills captured during the anti-CAA/NRC protests did more to convey what was going on in the country back then than most TV news channels with round-the-clock coverage could. His website showcases most of his work.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a total of 53 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan between 1992 and 2021.
Siddiqui was based in Mumbai. He had received the Pulitzer Prize as part of the Photography staff of Reuters news agency. He Started his career as a television news correspondent, switched to photojournalism, and joined Reuters as an intern in 2010.
Clashes between the Afghan government forces and the Taliban have intensified since US troops began to withdraw from the country.
The Taliban recently claimed their fighters had retaken 85% of territory in Afghanistan - a figure disputed by the government.
With PTI Inputs