A teenage girl has reportedly shot dead two Taliban militants after they murdered her parents, before fighting off reinforcements alongside her younger brother.
Around 40 Taliban fighters stormed the village of Geriveh in Afghanistan’s central Ghor province last week, several of whom appeared at the home of Qamar Gul’s family at 1am on Friday.
The Islamist militants shot dead both Ms Gul’s mother and father, whom local officials say was a pro-government village chief who had complained about Taliban demands for tax payments.
After witnessing the death of her parents, Ms Gul – who is between the ages of 14 and 16 – picked up her father’s AK-47 rifle and killed the two militants responsible, wounding another, the local police chief told Agence France-Presse.
She then entered a battle against other Taliban fighters alongside her 12-year-old brother, Habibullah, which lasted for an hour. More militants are said to have arrived, however other villagers and government troops helped to fight them off.
Afghan security forces have now taken Gul and her younger brother to a safer place, Mohamed Aref Aber, a spokesperson to the provincial governor, told AFP.
The nation’s government have since praised their bravery during a Cabinet meeting, while president Ashraf Ghani has invited them to meet him.
An image of Ms Gul holding a rifle has since gone viral on social media, with many hailing the teenager as a hero. However, others have described the incident as a sad symbol of a country torn by decades of war.
While the US and Taliban have struck a fragile peace deal, the militants have since stepped up their attacks on government security forces – which according to the Afghan National Security Council (NSC) amounted to an average of 55 attacks per day between March and May.
The Islamist group also frequently target civilians who they suspect of being pro-government or informers.
The NSC calculates that in the month following 16 June, Taliban soldiers killed 129 civilians across 30 provinces, including women and children, and wounded 291 others.