Pakistani teen dies tackling suicide bomber, saves students

Pakistani authorities examine the site of the suicide bombing. Aitazaz Hassan Bangash was being hailed as a hero for stopping the bomber before reaching a school where around 1,000 students were gathered for an assembly.

BASIT SHAH/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani authorities examine the site of the suicide bombing. Aitazaz Hassan Bangash was being hailed as a hero for stopping the bomber before reaching a school where around 1,000 students were gathered for an assembly.

A 14-year-old Pakistani boy is being hailed as a hero after he sacrificed himself to stop a suicide bomber from storming his school.

Ninth-grader Aitazaz Hassan Bangash was walking to school Monday in the Hangu district of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when he and his cousin became suspicious of a man, dressed in a student uniform, asked where the school was, CNN reported.

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“The other students backed off, but Aitazaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him. During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb,” the cousin, Musadiq Ali Bangash, told the network.

Aitazaz tried to grab the bomber at the entrance to the school with around 1,000 students — and that’s when the blast went off.

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Aitazaz and the bomber, who was not identified in reports, died at the scene. Two bystanders were injured, according witnesses speaking to CNN.

“It was a great sacrifice to save the lives of hundreds of both Shia and Sunni students, who were in morning assembly,” Musadiq told the network.

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Aitazaz’s father, Mujahid Ali Bangash, 55, told Agence France-Presse his son died a hero.

“Aitazaz has made us proud by valiantly intercepting the bomber and saving the lives of hundreds of his fellow students,” he said.

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“I am happy that my son has become a martyr by sacrificing his life for a noble cause.”

The tragedy, Bangash said, was cause for celebration.

“Many people are coming to see me but if they try to express sympathy, I tell them to congratulate me instead on becoming the father of a martyr,” he told AFP.

“I will be even more than happy if my second son also sacrifices his life for the country.”


Nation / World – NY Daily News

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