Wasil Ahmad, an 11-year-old Afghan boy who had been praised for his bravery in leading security forces in battle against the Taliban was killed by the militants this week, Afghan authorities said.
Despite his age and national and international laws prohibiting the use of children in warfare, Wasil had distinguished himself on the battlefield last year, Samad, the boy’s uncle, told CNN.
Wasil Ahmad had commanded a police unit for 43 days as it fought to repel a deadly 71-day Taliban siege last year, according to his uncle Mullah Samad, an Afghan Local Police commander in the Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province.
Gunmen on motorbikes shot the boy in the head Monday at a market in Tarin Kowt, the provincial capital of Uruzgan province, said Dost Mohammad Nayab, spokesman for the province’s governor.
Wasil was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to a better-equipped hospital in Kandahar, where he died of his injuries, Nayab said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing on its website Monday.
Wasil had only recently returned to civilian life, enrolling in school in Tarin Kowt last year after surviving the brutal Taliban siege in Khas Uruzgan, Nayab said.
He said Wasil, who lost his father in fighting with the Taliban, had asked him more than a year ago how to use machine guns.
“I asked him why did he want to learn. He told me that he wanted to take revenge from those (who) had killed his father,” Samad said.