GHAZNI -- An Afghan girl who fatally shot two Taliban fighters after they gunned down her parents said she is ready to confront any other insurgents who might try to attack her.
Qamar Gul, 15, killed the militants when they stormed her home last week in a remote village in Ghor Province.
"I no longer fear them, and I'm ready to fight them again," Gul told AFP by telephone from a relative's home, where guards were watching her.
A photo of Gul posing with a gun has circulated online, with many praising her actions and calling for her safe passage out of the country.
It was about midnight when the Taliban arrived, Gul said, recounting the events of that night.
She was asleep in her room with her 12-year-old brother when she heard the sound of men pushing at the door of their house.
"My mother ran to stop them, but by then they had already broken the door," Gul said.
"They took my father and mother outside and shot them several times. I was terrified."
But moments later, "anger took over," she said.
"I picked up the gun we had at home, went to the door and shot them," said Gul, who was taught by her father how to fire an AK-47 assault rifle.
Her brother stepped in when one of the insurgents, who appeared to be the group's leader, tried to return fire.
"My brother took the gun from me and shot him. The fighter ran away injured, only to return later," Gul said.
By then, several villagers and pro-government militiamen had arrived at the house. The Taliban eventually fled following a lengthy firefight.
Officials told AFP that the Taliban had come to kill Gul's father, who was the village chief, because he supported the government.
The insurgents regularly kill villagers whom they suspect of being informers for the government or security forces, with Taywara District, where Gul's remote village is situated, the scene of near-daily clashes between government forces and the Taliban.
"I am proud I killed my parents' murderers," she said. "I killed them because they killed my parents, and also because I knew they would come for me and my little brother."
Gul regrets she was unable to say goodbye to her mother and father.
"After I killed the two Taliban, I went to talk to my parents, but they were not breathing," she said. "I feel sad. I could not talk to them one last time."
Hundreds of users of social media are demanding the government protect her, with some calling for her to be sent outside Afghanistan.
"I demand that the president help transfer her to a safe place as her and her family's security is at risk," Fawzia Koofi, a former member of the Wolesi Jirga from Badakhshan Province, wrote on Facebook.
On Thursday (July 23), Gul was transported to Kabul where government officials and a group of Afghan women welcomed her.
Gul's "brave act" was a message to the Taliban from Afghan women, said Defence Ministry official Munera Yousufzada.
"The Taliban must realise and know that today's women are different from the women during their rule," she tweeted in Dari.
President Ashraf Ghani praised Gul for "defending her family against a ruthless enemy", Ghani spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed an operation took place in the area of the attack but denied any of the group's fighters had been killed by a woman.
This woman is a real hero and I welcomed the heroic action of this woman.Reply
It was a good work.Reply
This photo was taken by me. How could you publish it with your own name without consultation with me?Reply
According to the relatives of this girl and local authorities, the girl killed her husband, not Taliban. One of the attackers she killed was her husband who was fighting beside Taliban, and was apparently seeking for a forced return of his wife after a dispute he has had with her family.Reply
God may know what is true and what is not. 15 kilometers away from all the cities of Afghanistan, not only there is no government or law, but also no media outlet has access there. Now this incident has happened, and Qamar Gul and her relatives have escaped from the place of the incident someway and come to the city and told a story. These kinds of disputes and conflicts are going on in most of the families that are deprived of education. Some of these disputes have ethnic roots, and some others have cultural aspects. Maybe the newly married girl was not used to, or understood the culture of the people to whom she was married, or, maybe if she understood it, but she did not adjust herself to that, and finally a problem and misery occurred someway. Other examples of this type of violence is the false, dirty and meaningless culture of paying ransom or money for life In rural areas, if a person is murdered by another person, the murdered person's family asks for some money from the murderer’s family after acquaintance or exemption, and the murderer's family must pay the amount. If they do not have the amount, then the right of the girl, the age of the girl, agreement of the girl is not important; she will be given as cost of life to the diseased person's family. The girl is obliged to work as a slave as long as she lives, and I do not think the girl is allowed anymore to go to her parents’ home and visit them. Unfortunately, these are the common problems and miseries of our socieReply
My dear friend, you mentioned important issues. May God bless you. All these problems arise from the forty-year-old war of Afghanistan. May God bring a nationwide peace in Afghanistan so that people do not face with such problems.Reply