PM hails teenager who died foiling suicide bomber
Aitizaz Hassan, 15, recommended for Pakistan's top award
Aitizaz Hassan was killed as he tackled an anti-Shia suicide bomber
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recommended a teenage schoolboy receive Pakistan’s highest civilian award after he was killed overpowering a suicide bomber outside a school in the country’s restive northwest region.
Aitizaz Hassan, 15, prevented other students from death or injury when he overpowered the attacker, forcing him to prematurely detonate a belt of explosives at the gate of the government-run boys’ school in Ibrahimzai, a majority Shia village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, on January 6. Hassan later died in hospital.
Banned anti-Shia group Lashkar-e-Jhangyi claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Hassan’s brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism,” Sharif said in a statement on Saturday.
President Mamnoon Hussain has been advised to award Hassan Pakistan’s Medal of Bravery, the prime minister added, as tributes continue to pour in.
Malala Yousafzai, the teenage education campaigner who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, described Hassan as a “brave and courageous boy” in calling for him to receive the country’s award for bravery.
“I wish that in giving his own life he helps to bring peace to my people and my country,” she said.
Former international cricketer Imran Khan, whose Justice Party leads a coalition government in restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said he was disappointed that local officials had failed to attend Hassan’s funeral.
“I have announced setting up a trust fund for Aitizaz Hassan,” Khan said on Twitter.
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