A teenage girl has become a hero in Afghanistan for fighting off a Taliban attack, killing two militants with the AK-47 her father taught her to use before he was killed by the insurgent group. Now Qamar Gul, who is about 15, has been invited to the presidential palace and has already been lauded by President Ahsraf Ghani for her bravery.
Speaking to CBS News by phone from Afghanistan's western Ghor province, Gul recounted the night last week when the terrorists came to her house in the village of Geriveh and forced their way in.
"It was around 1 a.m. that the Taliban knocked on our door. My mother answered and refused to open the door. They broke our door and dragged my parents into the hallway and killed them both," she told CBS News.
Gul grabbed her father's rifle, which he had taught her to use, and opened fire. Two Taliban insurgents were killed in the shooting and another wounded, according to both Gul and the district governor.
Villagers soon rushed over to and together they forced the Taliban to retreat.
"I am proud I killed my parents' murderers," Gul told the AFP news agency in a separate interview. "I killed them because they killed my parents, and also because I knew they would come for me and my little brother."
"After I killed the two Taliban, I went to talk to my parents, but they were not breathing," she told AFP. "I feel sad I could not talk to them one last time."
Muhammad Rafiq Alam, the head of the local Taywara district, said Gul's father, Arbab Shah Gul, had been a staunch government supporter and head of the village council of elders, making him a target for the insurgents.
"The village is located around 25 miles from the district center, and under government control. We arrived in the village in the morning and buried Qamar Gul's parents," Alam said.
Social media users have lauded Gul, and some have voiced concern for her safety.
"The brave action of #Qamargul is a clear message of all Afghan women to terrorists," tweeted Munera Yousufzada, the country's Deputy Defense Minister. "The Taliban should know that women in the current two decades are not the women of silence and tolerance, and they want nothing less than their rights."
Gul told CBS News she was looking forward to meeting the president.
"My life and my family's life is in danger. I want the government to protect our people and us, so we can live in peace," she said.
Provincial Governor Noor Muhammad Kohnaward told CBS News that Gul had been moved to a safe location, and that she would soon leave for Kabul to visit President Ghani.