A 15-year-old boy in Pakistan is being hailed as a hero for sacrificing his life this week while trying to stop a suicide bomber from targeting his school.
Aitzaz Hassan was killed Monday in a remote village in Hangu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Local police said the ninth grader saw the attacker getting off a bus and heading toward the school gate. The attacker was wearing a school uniform but he looked suspicious, and that is when Aitzaz tried to stop him, prompting the attacker to set off the bomb.
Aitzaz's elder brother, Mujtaba, told VOA Deewa service the teenager's act "made his mother cry but saved 500 other mothers from crying," referring to the number of students in the school at the time of the blast.
Mujtaba said his brother often talked about fighting a suicide bomber if he came face-to-face with one. “He actually did what he had said he would,” Mujtaba said.
He said that instead of grieving and mourning, the family is celebrating Aitzaz's bravery and martyrdom.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an outlawed Sunni militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group is blamed for attacks on Shi'ites, who are a minority in Pakistan.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Deewa service. Sadaqat Jan contributed from Washington.