Pakistani schoolboy who died stopping bomber recommended for award

Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:32am EST
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By Jibran Ahmad

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani schoolboy who died stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his school has been recommended for a national award, the prime minister's office said on Friday.

Aitezaz Hassan, 17, tackled the bomber as he tried to enter a government school in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hassan and the bomber died but no other students or staff were hurt, police said.

"Though I lost my sweet son I have no regret for what he has done. He has done a heroic job and I am proud of his bravery," Aitezaz's father, Mujahid Ali, told Reuters.

The bomber approached the school with explosives hidden under a school uniform on Monday, but students noticed and started shouting out warnings to stop him.

Aitezaz tackled him head on but the bomb detonated and Aitezaz died of his injuries, said head teacher Azmat Ali.

A Sunni Muslim sectarian group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility for the attack. The school is in Hangu, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim area.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi believe Shi'ites, who make up about 20 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people, are heretics who should be killed.

On Friday, the prime minister's office said it had recommended him for a Sitara-e-Shujaat, or Star of Bravery, award.   Continued...

Mujtaba Hussan (2nd L), brother of Aitezaz Hassan who was killed in a suicide bomb attack, sits with students of the high school next to a framed portrait of Hassan in a classroom at the Government High School Ibrahim Zai in Hangu district, bordering North Waziristan January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Syed Nadeem