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A boy's life in Afghanistan: Anti-Taliban fighter at 9, dead at 12

A boy's life in Afghanistan: Anti-Taliban fighter at 9, dead at 12

Wasil Ahmad learned to fire a gun at age 9, after his father was killed by Taliban militants.

Before long, his uncle said, the boy had become a celebrated Taliban killer, credited with gunning down six insurgents during a battle last summer.

Wasil was waiting Monday at a fruit stand in Tirin Kot, the capital of southern Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province, when he was shot dead by two gunmen. His uncle said he was 12 years old.

The boy’s death — in a conflict that began before he was born — has made national headlines and served as a grave reminder that children continue to fight and die on all sides of the enduring hostilities in...

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