A photo of an Afghan girl in a headscarf, holding an AK-47 across her lap, has gone viral owing to its incredible backstory. The girl, Qamar Gul, said to be between 14 and 16, was at her home in the village of Geriveh, in Ghor province, around 1am Friday when 40 Taliban militants showed up looking for her father, per the Guardian. Qamar Gul's mother was shot dead after refusing to open the door, says a spokesman for the provincial governor. Mohamed Aref Aber says the militants then entered the home, killing the girl's father, described as the village chief and an apparent government supporter, per AFP. The teen, who observed the killings, proceeded to grab her father's rifle and—together with her 12-year-old brother, Habibullah—waged an hourlong battle with the killers. In the end, she killed three militants, Aber says.
Other reports suggest she killed two militants and injured several others. More militants later tried to attack the house but "were beaten back by villagers and pro-government militia," reports the BBC. The teen and her brother are now at a safe house in the provincial capital, per the Guardian. "They were in shock in the first two days and could not talk too much, but are in a good condition now," Aber says. "They are saying: 'This was our right, because we did not need to live without our parents.'" The government has applauded the pair, who've received an invitation to meet President Ashraf Ghani. Social media users are full of praise, too. "Hats off to her courage!" a Facebook user commented on the viral photo of Qamar Gul, per AFP. "She is a symbol of bravery and resistance," wrote another, per the Guardian. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)