An Afghan official says a 10-year-old boy who often fought the Taliban has been shot dead by insurgents while on his way to school in the southern Uruzgan province.

Rahimullah Khan, Uruzgan's deputy provincial police chief, said Wednesday that Wasil Ahmad was killed in Tirin Kot, the capital of the province, Monday.

The boy had fought Taliban alongside his uncle on many occasions, Khan says. Unknown gunmen Khan refers to only as insurgents killed him near his home.

He says Ahmad's uncle was formerly a Taliban commander who changed allegiance to the government and was appointed local police commander in Khas Uruzgan district.

The use of child soldiers is illegal in Afghanistan, but the charity Child Soldiers International says both government forces and insurgents have been recruiting minors for years.