Updated 07:35 PM EST, Mon, Feb 27, 2017
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12- Year -Old Taliban Killer Dies a War Hero

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Troops in Afghanistan
A CH-47 Chinock window gunner stands guard near U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagels helicopter, in flight over Kabul December 8, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)

Most third and fourth graders concern themselves with balancing school and play -- if they finish their homework early, maybe their parents will give them an extra hour to watch television or play with friends.

For 10-year-old Wasil Ahmad, however, things aren't quite that easy. At nine, his father was killed by the Taliban. With his uncle wounded and unable to fight, he learned to fire a gun and had become a celebrated Taliban killer -- in the summer that he joined the anti-Taliban army, he was credited with gunning down six insurgents.

Still, he decided to go back to school and enter the fourth grade in the fall, which is what any child should be doing at that age, anyway.

Unfortunately, he didn't enjoy school for too long. According to The New York Times, the Taliban announced on Monday that they assassinated the child with two bullets to the head in Tirin Kot City, just a few months after leaving the militia and enrolling in fourth grade.

His death made national headlines and served as a reminder that in the midst of war, both the government and the insurgents use children as soldiers in their war.

The United Nations said that in 2014 alone, there were 68 cases of children -- some of them girls -- being recruited to join the war as combatants. However, in the first half of 2015 alone, the UN Mission in Afghanistan already documented 1,270 child casualties, 320 deaths, and 950 injuries.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Wasil's uncle, Abdul Samad, mentioned that the child was not a member of the Afghan Local Police or any other formal fighting force. As a child in a war-torn country, he was doing what anyone in the same situation would do. Samad said, "He had to take up arms. He was defending his home, his family."

By Samad's account, Wasil picked up an AK 47 rifle when his father was killed in battle against the Taliban, saying that he wanted revenge. Taught by his uncle to shoot, the 10-year-old learned to fire shotguns, pistols, and other heavy weapons, even getting behind the wheel of a police pickup at some point.

It wasn't until last summer that his abilities came to the test when his home in Khas Uruzgan district was sieged by the Taliban. He was said to have single-handedly shot six Taliban fighters in two months, a great feat at his young age, considering that in the years of fighting, Wasil's father managed to kill only 13.

News outlets are calling Wasil Ahdmad a war hero, but others say his death was tragic; which side do you agree with?

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