Pakistan is paying tribute to a 14-year-old hero who died while preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school.
Aitazaz Hassan Bangash and his cousin Musadiq Ali Bangash were on their way to Ibrahimzai School in a Shia dominated area of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday, when a man raised their suspicions by asking them for directions while clad in school uniform.
“The other students backed off, but Aitazaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him,” Musadiq told CNN. “During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb.” Both died and two others were injured. Nearly 2,000 students were gathered for morning assembly at the time.
Pakistanis have been venting their outrage at Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), the militant group that has claimed responsibility for the attack, and calling for the nation’s highest military award for Aitazaz.
Aitazaz is survived by his parents and two sisters. His father, Mujahid Ali, has returned from his work in the United Arab Emirates not to mourn his son’s death, he told the Express Tribune, but to celebrate his life.
“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.”