Social media heroes: Afghan teen, her brother fought Taliban

Social media heroes: Afghan teen, her brother fought Taliban

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.

One image of Gul holding the AK-47 has spread widely on social media.

About 40 Taliban fighters showed up looking for Gul's father, who was chief of the village and a supporter of the Afghan government, a local police chief told the AFP.

Officials from Ghor province said they had dragged the father and mother from the home before murdering them.

"I had no choice but to take my father's gun and fire on them", she said.

Later several other terrorists came to attack Gul's house but were expelled by the locals.

Taywara district, where Gul's village is located, is a remote area with sporadic communication and the scene of near-daily clashes between government forces and the Taliban.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, denied the report.

'Two were killed and another of them was wounded'.

Taywara is under government control but has not been immune to Taliban incursions in the past, Aber said.

The Afghan government says the shooting did happen, and it has moved the two children to the provincial capital to protect them.

The girl and her brother were celebrated as heroes on social media, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani reportedly invited them to Kabul for a celebratory meeting.

"Hats off to her courage!"

In recent months, the militants have also stepped up their attacks against security forces despite agreeing to peace talks with Kabul. That agreement was meant to pave the way for talks between the insurgents and the government in Kabul, leading to an end to decades of war.

Taliban fighters regularly kill civilians who they suspect of being informers for the Afghan government or security forces.

Earlier this year, the U.S. and Taliban signed an agreement for "Bringing Peace to Afghanistan", which will enable the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to withdraw troops in the next 14 months. So far, the government has freed more than 4,200 and the Taliban have freed around 800.

In a statement, the defence ministry said a vehicle bomber targeted army troops in Monday's incident in the district of Sayed Abad in Wardak province, killing eight soldiers and wounding nine more.

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