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Old 09.01.2014, 19:12
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Pakistani teenager thwarts suicide bomber

What a brave young man - RIP

Aitzaz Hasan: Tributes to Pakistan teenager killed when he stopped a bomber


Aitzaz Hasan was described as a brave and good student

Tributes have been pouring in for a Pakistani teenager who was killed on Monday when he tackled a suicide bomber targeting his school in the Hangu area.

Aitzaz Hasan, 15, was with friends outside school when they spotted a man wearing a suicide vest.

Despite the pleas of his fellow students, he decided to confront and capture the bomber who then detonated his vest, his cousin told the BBC.

Aitzaz is being hailed as a hero in an outpouring of praise on social media.

There have even been calls for him to receive the army's highest honour awarded to those who have sacrificed their life for their country, though it is unclear if he would be qualified to receive it as a civilian.

"We the citizens believe that State of Pk must award Nishan-i-Haider to Pk's brave son Shaheed Aitezaz," journalist Nasim Zehra tweeted on Thursday.

Confrontation
The incident took place on Monday in Ibrahimzai, a Shia-dominated region of Hangu, in north-western Pakistan. There were almost 2,000 students in attendance at the time of the attack, media reports say.


"My cousin sacrificed his life saving his school and hundreds of students and school fellows," his cousin Mudassar Hassan Bangish told the BBC's Aleem Maqbool.

"The suicide bomber wanted to destroy the school and school students. It was my cousin who stopped him from this...destruction.

He then described the sequence of events as related to him by witnesses at the school.

Aitzaz's friends had urged him not to confront the suicide bomber but he ignored their pleas and decided to confront the man with the intention of halting him.

"So he told them 'I'm going to stop him. He is going to school to kill my friends'. He wanted to capture this suicide bomber. He wanted to stop [him]. Meanwhile the suicide bomber blasted himself which resulted in the death of my cousin," Mr Bangish said.

He described Aitzaz as "brave" and a good student. "He always used to say 'I am always ready for my country'."

His family insist that rather than focus on the sorrow brought about by his death, they want to focus on their pride in his actions.

"He is a shahid [martyr]. A shahid of his whole nation," he said.

His family have also spoken of Aitzaz's actions in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper.

"My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children," Mujahid Ali, Aitzaz's father is quoted as saying.

Sectarian violence
According to Mr Bangish, people in the area would like to see the government give Aitzaz an award to recognise his bravery, and compared him with celebrated Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai - a comparison being echoed across social media.

On Twitter, users are paying tribute to Aitzaz using the hashtags #onemillionaitzaz and #AitzazBraveheart echoing the language used online around figures such as Malala and the Delhi rape victim, whose death galvanised Indian public opinion and prompted changes in rape laws there.

Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman tweeted: "Hangu's shaheed Aitzaz Hasan is #Pakistan's pride. Give him a medal at least. Another young one with heartstopping courage #AitzazBraveheart."

Hangu is close to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions, which have a strong Taliban and al-Qaeda presence and the area is also known for sectarian violence against Shia Muslims.

Mr Bangish said the region's residents are "patriotic people" but have to contend with difficult conditions.

He he added that in order to cope with such conditions and tackle the "fights and blast ... needs courage like Aitzaz has. We salute his bravery".

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Old 09.01.2014, 19:55
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Re: Pakistani teenager thwarts suicide bomber

Aitzaz Hasan (RIP) and Malala Yousafzai Your Country should be proud of you !
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Old 09.01.2014, 21:01
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Re: Pakistani teenager thwarts suicide bomber

A brave young man who stood up to those who think terrorising people will make them bow to their fanatical ideas. RIP hero.
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