KOHAT: Aitezaz Hussain, a ninth grader, who saved lives of hundreds of students and sacrificed his life by challenging a suicide bomber outside his school on Monday, has turned into a local hero as people praise him for his bravery and ask the government to acknowledge his act of valour at official level.

The deceased student grabbed the suicide bomber, who was trying to enter the school in Ibrahimzai locality of Hangu district. The bomber blew himself up when he failed to enter the school due to stiff resistance by Aitezaz.

“His act of bravery will be written with golden words in history,” residents of the area said. Eyewitnesses said that Aitezaz Hussain was going to school, where the morning assembly underway, when he sighted a suspicious boy going towards the school building. He asked him to stop after which the bomber started walking quickly towards the school.

Aitezaz hurled a big stone at the bomber to stop him but he missed the target and then ran after the bomber and grabbed him, they said. The bomber blew himself up, killing Aitezaz on the spot, but lives of hundreds of students and their teachers were saved, the eyewitnesses said.

The investigators gave all credit for saving the school from devastation to Aitezaz, who was liked by his classmates and friends for his kindness. The teachers also liked him for being a respectful student.

The residents of the area said that the decade-old war against terrorism inculcated bravery among the people.

An official said that Aitezaz Hussain deserved a bravery award from the government. He said that his family should be compensated for what he did to save the lives of people.

“Kohat commissioner, Hangu DPO and Kohat deputy commissioner and intelligence officers are also impressed by this act of valour but they have yet to announce any reward or compensation to his family,” the residents of the area said.

Police official Ali Murtaza confirmed to Dawn that the suicide bomber was walking towards the school around 8am when Aitezaz got suspicious and asked him to stop. The suicide bomber wanted to target the school, he added.

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