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Taliban Executes Journalist as Biden Pulls Out of Afghanistan

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The recent US withdrawal of its remaining defense forces in Afghanistan is a grim reminder there is no such thing as a simple task. The Biden administration has come under fire for delaying the pullout and has faced growing concerns about the future safety of local translators who worked with US military officials. Amid this mounting chaos, a new threat has emerged, this time impacting journalists.

On August 2, a spokesperson for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces confirmed the Taliban captured, tortured and executed Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui in July. Media outlets reported the Taliban had horribly mutilated Siddiqui’s body.

Initial reports claimed Siddiqui died during an exchange of crossfire between Afghan and Taliban forces. Siddiqui had been dispatched to Afghanistan by Reuters to document clashes between Afghan and Taliban forces.

However, on July 29, Washington Examiner contributor Michael Rubin first claimed the Taliban “brutally murdered” the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist after discovering his identity. He warned other media outlets not to “whitewash” the circumstances of Siddiqui’s death.

This kind of escalation could mark the turning point for US policy regarding ongoing violence to civilians in Afghanistan. Yet, at the same time, one must wonder what future options the US might have in the region post-pullout.

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