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Pakistan honors teen who died stopping suicide bomber

Pakistan Honors Teen Who Died Stopping Suicide Bomber

(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.

"Shaheed (martyr) Aitezaz's brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism," the statement said.

Newspapers ran editorials praising his bravery and contrasted it with the government's inaction in the face of militancy.

"For the sake of Aitezaz and all the countless children that have been taken before their time, somebody from the government needs to take a page out of Aitezaz's book and resist terrorists until they can no longer harm Pakistan," the Nation newspaper said in an editorial.

The boy's parents said no government official or politician had contacted them.

Aitezaz's father said authorities could rename the school after him and officially declare him a martyr, a designation that would bring some financial relief to his family.

His mother, brother, and two sisters were mourning Aitezaz but took some comfort in knowing that he had saved many others, the father said.

The number of suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan rose by more than a third to 46 last year, according to a study released earlier this week by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.

The same study said that sectarian attacks were becoming more frequent and more deadly. Many Pakistani politicians maintain ties with sectarian groups in return for support at election time.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robert Birsel and Ralph Boulton)

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Brian Hope January 11 2014 at 10:50 PM

All these Sunni terrorists think of themselves as "warriors", but how many of them have had the guts to take their activities to the heart of the hated Shiite empire, Teheran?

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1 reply
dsmithsfamily Brian Hope January 12 2014 at 1:59 AM

who do you think was killing a portion of u.s. people, thats right there not people they are troops, in iraq luckily bush started aiding and abetting the enemy, payed then off, o i meant gave the paid employment

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thealarmpro January 11 2014 at 6:00 PM

This kid is a true Hero, I'm very sorry for his family's loss....

Flag Reply +7 rate up
playtime30 January 11 2014 at 5:54 PM

Wow we need more people like that and young. He could have ran and safed his own life but he stayed and safed others. My heart is out to you and your family. Does not matter what country you are from.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
BETTY BOOP January 11 2014 at 5:50 PM

It was a selfless act, of a young man with a big and loving heart. He is a HERO by any right and I am very glad that he is being honored as such. God bless his family in this time and keep them safe.

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Jeff January 11 2014 at 5:49 PM

What a brave young man! RIP Hassan. Thoughts and prayers to this family. May Hassan's brave, unselfish act bring some comfort for a life cut so short.

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sondravvag January 11 2014 at 5:44 PM

Poor family, but a truly heroic boy. May he go straight to the heaven Muslims believe in and be at peace. I don't understand the craziness of those who think they are making a "statement" by randomly killing others, especially children. There is something seriously wrong in that country........all on the back of religion. Very very sad,

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2 replies
Silverfoxylassy sondravvag January 11 2014 at 7:28 PM

There is only one God, and all souls go to Him when they die.

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Silverfoxylassy sondravvag January 11 2014 at 7:29 PM

All on the back of false religion.

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estimatorone January 11 2014 at 11:42 PM

What a loser country. Here this young man gives his life
to save his classmates and their country does little, or
nothing, to round up the murderers that do this stuff. I
would think that since their do nothing government, and
police, for that matter, do nothing to stop these murderers,
I would think that the parents/ friends of these kids would
root them out. And we continue to support these losers.

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1 reply
afzalamalik estimatorone January 12 2014 at 12:43 AM

for your knowledge terrorists operate from the area which is in geograpy of pakistan with the tribal set up.which means law of pakistan does not apply there and consicuently there is no police structure there .pakistan deals with them with a representative of pak govt. known as political agent .these tribal people were armed to teeth by US and eorepean countries to fight against former USSR WHEN IT ENTERED AFGHANISTAN.pakistan was given the task to train them and support NOW terrorists groups that time called MUJAHIDINS and their leaders even visited white house by invitation.when their purpose finished they were abandoned by USA and the World and Pakistan is trying to tam that monster alone and taking blame.thank you you for your time and their is world beyond burger king and mcdonald.

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biglman52 January 11 2014 at 4:59 PM

This brave boy should receive every honor that can be given; nevertheless all financial and educational resources shoud be devoted to responsible organizations that are committed to eradicating radical islamlic beliefs. by the way, the sucide bomber is NOT-repeat NOT in heaven, but in hell having his flesh eaten by demons.-on the other hand this selfless boy is in paradise.

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3 replies
jimraz January 11 2014 at 4:44 PM

As a Vietnam veteran, I do not want to know the name of the suicide bomber, but I promise to remember the Name of Aitezaz Hassan, the right man in the right place to do the right thing, may god bless him

Flag Reply +16 rate up
Frank Felly January 11 2014 at 11:48 PM

I agree with Rick Bauer. There is a special place in Hades for the bomber and a very special place in heaven for Hassan, well done.

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1 reply
afzalamalik Frank Felly January 12 2014 at 12:55 AM

there is no hades to support killing innocent people .no religion will support violance .no judgment if you are not an expert on haddes

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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