An Afghan mother, enraged by the Taliban’s fatal shooting of her policeman son, has allegedly helped to kill 25 militants. She rushed to a police outpost near her home upon hearing gunfire, before her adrenalin took over and she “began to shoot back.”
The incident happened early in the morning on November 17 in the Balabolok district, in the Farah province of western Afghanistan, near the border with Iran.
“It was around 5am when my son’s check post came under the attack of Taliban,” the mother, Reza Gul, told Afghan television network, TOLOnews. “When the fighting intensified, I couldn’t stop myself and picked up a weapon, went to the check post and began shooting back.”
Her maternal instincts took over after seeing her son Safiullah lying dead in front of her eyes, after a gun battle with the Taliban. However, she was not acting alone: a number of family members, including her husband, daughter and youngest son, rushed along to help and provided her with ammunition.
“The fighting intensified when we reached the battlefield along with light and heavy weapons,” said Reza Gul’s daughter-in-law, Seema, according to TOLOnews. “We were committed to fight until the last bullet.” She added that the intense fighting lasted a number of hours, with 25 militants left dead and others wounded.
Reza Gul’s daughter Fatima says, “We started a kind of family war against the Taliban.” She added that she helped to prepare bullets for her mother and father to fight off the militant organization. Reza Gul’s husband Abdul Satar said they were prepared to sacrifice the whole family to ensure that the Taliban would not encroach on their lands.
“My young son who was a police officer was killed in front of my eyes,” Abdul Satar said, as reported by TOLOnews. “I pulled aside his dead body and started fighting to defend my soil to prove that this is the soil of Malalai, the hero. I was committed to give up my life, but not my son’s check post.”
He was referring to Malalai of Maiwand, an Afghan folk hero who allegedly helped to defeat the British in the second Anglo-Afghan war in 1880.
The provincial police chief, General Abdul Razaq Yagubi, confirmed that the Taliban had launched an attack on Balabolok district on November 17. He also added that they came with an estimated 400 fighters to try and take the area.
Safiullah was the head of the local police post and had 10 other policemen under his control. However their post was shelled by Taliban militants and Safiullah was killed in the resulting firefight. His mother’s presence “boosted the morale of policemen resisting the attack, and after seven hours of heavy fighting, the Taliban fled. At least 25 Taliban militants were killed and 31 injured in that village alone,” Yagubi added, NBC reported.
It appears Raza Gul’s actions could go down in folklore and she could well become the new Malalai of Maiwand.
“We are proud of the bravery of this family and this is a saga that will be remembered for long by police and residents of Farah province,” Yagubi added.
Afghans are fiercely loyal to their homes and these sentiments were confirmed by the family’s youngest son, Sardar, who has a word of warning for the Taliban if they ever think of returning.
“The Taliban are foreigners, they are servants of Pakistan, if they attack 100 other times, I will continue to defend my country and will shed their blood to not let them dare to enter my village,” said Sardar, who also helped to prepare bullets for his mother and father, according to TOLOnews.