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Ten year old boy killed by Afghan militants

Afghanistan, Kabul: Officials said on Yesterday,  Wasil Ahmad, a ten year old Afghan boy who was declared a hero after fighting the Taliban has been shot dead by militants while on his way to school. Deputy police chief Rahimullah Khan said, Wasil Ahmad, who had fought the Taliban alongside his uncle on many occasions, was killed on Monday near his home in Tirin Kot, the capital of the southern Uruzgan province, said .

The 10-year-old boy 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. His uncle was a former Taliban commander who changed allegiance to the government and was appointed local police commander in Khas Uruzgan district, Khan said.

The use of child soldiers is illegal in Afghanistan, but the charity Child Soldiers International said both government forces and militants have been recruiting minors for years.  In a June 2015 report presented to the UN Security Council’s working group on children and armed conflict, the London-based charity said children were recruited by the Afghan National Police and the Afghan Local Police. It said the recruitment was mainly driven by poverty, but also filial duty, patriotism and honour.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission laid blame for the boy’s death with his family, the government and the Taliban. Spokesman Rafiullah Baidar said that local police had hailed the boy as a hero after he battled a Taliban siege following the death of his father in fighting. He said,“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”. He added,  “One side made him famous and the other side killed him — both sides ignored the law and acted illegally”.

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