10-Year-Old Declared Militia Hero For Protecting Village, Gunned Down By The Taliban

Janice Malcolm

Last year, Afghanistan officials proudly declared young Wasil Ahmad a hero for his role in leading a militia's defense siege against a Taliban-mounted siege, giving the boy a borrowed police officer's uniform and giving him multiple photo sessions. Today, the 10-year-old hero was gunned down by two bullets to the head, an act the Taliban has claimed responsibility for.

Wasil was gunned down in the city of Tirin Kot, the capital of southern Oruzgan Province, on his way to school only a few short months after leaving the life of militia behind. The deputy police chief of the province, Rahimullah Khan, said that the 10-year-old was a fourth grader in his school.

Photographs of 10-year-old Ahmad wearing a military uniform, complete with an helmet, while holding an assault rifle abound on social media. According to CBS News, Rafiullah Baidar, spokesperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, has accused Ahmad's family and the government as being at fault for the boy's death.

"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."
"There was no threat from this child to the armed opposition. If they had targeted him in a military base, then they could have raised the question of what was a child doing in a military base. But he was targeted in front of his home."

"He fought like a miracle. He was successfully leading my men on my behalf for 44 days until I recovered."

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the death of the 10-year-old boy on their website, announcing that they had killed a stooge militiaman.

[Photo by AP Images]