A 10-year-old Afghan boy who helped lead a militia fighting terrorists alongside his uncle, then left to attend fourth grade, was shot in the head and killed by Taliban insurgents while walking to school, officials revealed Wednesday. Police had called the boy a hero.
War had surrounded Wasil Ahmad since he was born. His father was reportedly killed by Taliban insurgents. His uncle, Mullah Abdul Samad, was a former Taliban commander-turned-police militia leader who fought for the government against insurgents in Khas Oruzgan District.
And when his uncle was wounded last Summer in a Taliban attack, Samad said the boy took control of the militia and “fought like a miracle.”
Wasil Ahmad had been a local celebrity of sorts, with widely circulated photographs on social media showing him holding an automatic weapon and wearing a uniform and helmet.
Deputy police chief of Uruzgan province, Rahimullah Khan, said that unknown gunmen he referred to only as insurgents had killed the boy near his home.
He was reportedly shot in the head at a market in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province. He was taken to the local hospital where he passed away from his fatal injuries.
‘Possibly he took up arms to take revenge for his father’s death, but it was illegal for the police to declare him a hero and reveal his identity, especially to the insurgents,’ Baidar said.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission blamed the boy’s family, as well as the government and the Taliban, for the death, saying police hailed him for taking up arms after his father’s died in combat
‘One side made him famous and the other side killed him — both sides ignored the law and acted illegally,’ he said.
The use of child soldiers is illegal in Afghanistan, but the charity Child Soldiers International said both government forces and insurgents have been recruiting minors for years.
Child Soldiers International policy director Charu Lata Hogg said:
“There is a lack of political will to address this issue, and while it’s within the framework of overall human rights violations, there is a specific commitment by the government to clean it up but sufficient measures are not being taken.”
The organization reported that in some regions of Afghanistan, at least 10 percent of local police officers are underage. According to the same report, the Taliban is an even bigger perpetrator of child soldier laws, using underage kids in combat, as spies, and as suicide bombers.