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January 13, 2014

Pakistan Honors Youth Who Died Saving Students

by VOA News

A Pakistani schoolboy who sacrificed his own life to save hundreds of his schoolmates by stopping a suicide bomber will have his school and a stadium named after him, officials of  Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province said Monday.

Provincial Governor Shaukatullah Khan visited the student's home and announced an award of five million Pakistani rupees ($47,000) as compensation for his family.

Speaking to VOA’s Deewa Service, the governor said the sacrifice of such a student is a matter of national pride.

“The sacrifice of such young boys and girls is a great honor for this soil and our country," Khan said. "This is a great honor for this small village. I am here representing the prime minister and president of Pakistan and laid a floral wreath on the grave on their behalf.”

Aitzaz Hassan, a 15-year-old from the mainly Shi'ite Ibrahimzai village, become a national hero after intercepting the bomber trying to enter Hassan's school last week.

Hassan’s brother told VOA that his brother saved hundreds of lives by sacrificing his own.

“His mother cried when he died but there are 500 students in the school and if he [Aitzaz] had not stopped the suicide bomber, mothers of all the 500 would have been crying for their kids,” Khan said.

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yusafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for championing girls' right to education, also paid tribute to the teenager last week.