An Afghan girl has been hailed on social media for her “heroism” after fighting back against Taliban militants who reportedly killed her parents.
The girl took the family’s AK-47 assault rifle, shot dead two of the gunmen and wounded several others, local officials in Ghor province said.
Officials say the Taliban attacked as her father supports the government. The group denies any of its fighters died.
A photo of the girl holding the gun has gone viral in recent days.
Later in the shoot-out, which took place last week, more militants came to attack the house, in the village of Griwa, but were beaten back by villagers and pro-government militia.
Officials said the girl, believed to be aged between 14 and 16, and her younger brother had been taken to a safer place.
Social media users praised the teenager.
“Hats off to her courage,” AFP quoted Najiba Rahmi as saying on Facebook.
“We know parents are irreplaceable, but your revenge will give you relative peace,” said Mohamed Saleh, also on Facebook.
The Taliban denied their fighters had been involved, far less killed, in the incident and called it government propaganda.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group’s fighters had attacked a local police checkpoint in Ghor, where two insurgents were injured and a number of local militia killed.
“What I have been seeing and hearing in the media is not true,” he told BBC Afghan.
According to local media, the incidence of violence against women is high in Ghor, a province in the west of Afghanistan and one of its most underdeveloped.
The Taliban signed a peace deal with the US in February but many of its members continue to call for the overthrow of the current Afghan government and constitution.
Fighting has continued since the deal and peace talks between the government and the Taliban have been delayed amid disagreements over a planned prisoner exchange.