Sometimes the biggest of heroes can come in the smallest of packages.
Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, a 14-year old ninth-grader from Pakistan, foiled the plans of a suicide bomber while he was walking to school in an area known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The story was first reported by CNN.
While walking, Hassan and his cousin, Musadiq Ali Bangash, noticed a suspicious looking man eerily dressed like one of the students, which tipped the boys off that something was out of order. And when the man asked for directions to the school, they were convinced that something was definitely wrong and tried to take immediate action.
And when the man tried to gain entrance to the school, Aitazaz attempted to hold him back, which in turn made the bomber panic and detonate his bomb. Tragically, Aitazaz was killed, but he was immediately dubbed a hero. The bomber, whose name has yet to be revealed, was also killed.
According to the cousin Musadiq, Aitazaz was the only one who tried to stop the bomber when he tried to give chase. "The other students backed off, but Aitazaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him," he said. "During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb."
Amazingly, Aitazaz saved the lives of 1,000 Shia and Sunni students, as many of them were gathered in one place for a morning assembly, so obviously the results could have been even more disastrous if Aitazaz didn't stop the bomber in time.
Some in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are looking for ways to honor the young hero and give him and his family the recognition they truly deserve. "He saved the lives of hundreds of students," said Nawaz Khan, a member of the local community. "He deserves more recognition than Malala Yousafzai," referring to the the young Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for voicing her opinions about equal education for women.
Image via YouTube