A Pakistani teen is being hailed as a hero after he lost his life keeping a suicide bomber from blowing up a school.
Aitizaz Hasan was standing outside the school Monday with two other students in the town of Hangu in northwest Pakistan as punishment for being late to class when he saw a young man trying to get into the building, The Guardian reported
. When the boys spotted the detonator, Aitizaz’s classmates ran inside. Aitizaz, though, stood his ground, grabbing the man and keeping him from entering the school as the bomb exploded.
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“The other students backed off, but Aitizaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him,” his cousin, Musadiq Ali Bangash, told CNN. “During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb.”
Another witness, Rajab Ali, told CNN that he saw the teen throw a large stone at the bomber before grabbing him.
“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” his father, Mujahid Ali, told The Express Tribune
. “There are a handful of people in the world who are martyrs; I am now one of those proud fathers whose son is among them.”
Many Pakistanis say Aitizaz is a national hero and are comparing him to Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban in October of 2012 for promoting education.
“We live in a land where a young child had to give his life fighting a scourge that our own leaders bend over backwards in an attempt to appease," Zarrar Khuhro wrote in for the Dawn newspaper, the Guardian reported.
The Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies said suicide attacks in the country increased by 39 percent last year to a total of 46.
At the Government High School Ibrahimzai that was targeted by the terrorist, authorities and others were lashing out at the government for not visiting the family until Wednesday night. Said Principal Lal Baz: “The attack targeted education and I am surprised neither the federal nor the provincial government functionary has visited the family. Their silence is condemnable,” the Express Tribune reported.
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