A teenage girl hailed a hero for killing two Taliban extremists in Afghanistan has described how she grabbed an AK47 and opened fire after seeing her parents shot dead ‘in front of my eyes’.
Qamar Gul, thought to be aged 16, grabbed the family gun after extremists stormed her home in Ghor province and murdered her parents.
She said ‘anger took over’ and opened fire, killing two Taliban fighters and wounding several more – and kept firing until villagers arrived, at which point the insurgents fled.
Today she is being hailed a hero and, together with her younger brother Habibullah, 12, is being brought to the capital Kabul to meet President Ashraf Ghani.
Why Gul’s parents were targeted remains unclear, although media reports suggest it was due to their support of the government.
Qamar Gul and her younger brother are being hailed as heroes after fighting off Taliban militants who killed their parents. Above, Qamar Gul, 16, right, and her brother Habibullah, 12, pictured in the governor’s office in Feroz Koh, the provincial capital of Ghor province, on Tuesday
The incident happened last week when insurgents stormed the home of Qamar Gul, a teenager from a village in the central province of Ghor. Gul is pictured above brandishing an AK-47
Arif Aber, spokesman for the governor of Ghor province where the incident took place, said 16-year-old Qamar Gul and her younger brother, 12-year-old Habibullah, are modern-day champions in the fight against the Taliban.
Insurgents in the central province of Ghor stormed the home of teenager Qamar Gul last week looking for her father, the village chief, before shooting her parents.
It was not clear what the reason for the raid was; some reports said the Taliban came to extort ‘taxes’ from the villagers.
Gul then emerged from the house with her family’s AK-47 and opened fire, killing the two Taliban fighters who gunned down her mother and father and injuring several others.
The Taliban ‘took both my father and mother out and shot them in front of my eyes’, Gul told reporters at the governor’s office in Feroz Koh, the provincial capital.
The teenager recounted 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 started 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.
Why Gul’s parents were targeted remains unclear, said Mr Aber, who described the children’s father as a government supporter who had in the past stood up to Taliban tax collectors who plundered the villages.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, denied the report.
He said the Taliban last week attacked a checkpoint belonging to the pro-government militias in Taywara.
Two of their fighters were wounded in the gun battle with local forces, he said.
No-one was killed.
Gul is aged between 14 and 16, according to different officials. It is common for many Afghans to not know their precise age. Above, Gul is pictured with her brother Habibullah
Taywara is under government control but has not been immune to Taliban incursions in the past, Mr Aber said.
Gul is aged between 14 and 16, according to different officials. It is common for many Afghans to not know their precise age.
Several other Taliban fighters later came to attack her house, but some villagers and pro-government militiamen expelled them after a gunfight, according to reports.
Afghan security forces have now taken Gul and her younger brother to a safer place, said Mohamed Aref Aber, spokesman to the provincial governor.
Since the incident, social media networks have been flooded with praise for Gul’s ‘heroic’ act.
A photograph of Gul, wearing a headscarf and holding a machine gun across her lap has gone viral in the past few days.
‘Hats off to her courage! Well done,’ wrote Najiba Rahmi on Facebook. ‘Power of an Afghan girl,’ wrote another Facebook user Fazila Alizada.
‘We know parents are irreplaceable, but your revenge will give you relative peace,’ said Mohamed Saleh in his post on Facebook.
The Taliban regularly kill villagers who they suspect of being informers for the government or security forces.
In recent months, the militants have also stepped up their attacks against security forces despite agreeing to peace talks with Kabul.