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Afghan teenage girl 'kills two Taliban militants who murdered her parents'
22 July 2020, 20:33
An Afghan teenage girl has been hailed a hero on social media for reportedly killing two Taliban militants who murdered her parents.
Qamar Gul, 16, and her younger brother, 12-year-old Habibullah, were brought to the capital Kabul to meet President Ashraf Ghani after their story gained attention on social media.
The pair were praised for fighting off insurgents who killed their mother and father during a gun attack last week in central Afghanistan.
Arif Aber, spokesman for the governor of Ghor province where the shooting took place, called them modern-day champions in the fight against the Taliban.
Dozens of fighters reportedly stormed the village of Geriveh in the Taywara district where Gul and her brother were living with their parents.
Three burst into the children's family home and took the parents outside before killing them.
Speaking at the governor's office in Feroz Koh, the provincial capital, Gul told reporters the Taliban "took both my father and mother out and shot them in front of my eyes."
Although the objective of the raid remains unclear, some reports say the Taliban sought to extort taxes from residents of the village.
The 16-year-old explained how she and her brother, who had been asleep when the attack started, each grabbed a gun their father had kept in the house and began shooting.
"I had no choice but to take my father's gun and fire on them," she said.
"Two were killed and another of them was wounded."
She said she kept shooting until the other villagers came, at which point the Taliban fled.
Mr Aber said there was no clear reason for why her parents were targeted, but said her father was a government support worker who had, in the past, stood up to Taliban tax collectors.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, denied the report, instead saying the group attacked a checkpoint last week that belonged to pro-government militias in Taywara.
He claimed two fighters were wounded during the battle but none were killed.
The authorities moved the children to Feroz Koh for fear they would be targeted once again.
Meanwhile, a picture of Gul holding an AK-47 - believed to be her father's - has gone viral, triggering a flurry of praise and admiration for the teenager.
"Hats off to her courage," said one post.
Taliban militants have stepped up attacks across Afghanistan despite signing a peace deal with the US in February that was intended to pave the way for talks between the insurgents and the government in Kabul, leading to an end to decades of war.
Those talks were supposed to begin this month, however the process has stalled over the implementation of a prisoner release detailed in the US-Taliban deal.