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14-year-old boy dies stopping suicide bomber at his school

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Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, a 14-year-old ninth grader attending the Ibrahimzai School in Pakistan’s Hangu district, is being hailed as a hero after saving hundreds of schoolmates, and sacrificing his own life to stop a suicide bomber headed toward his school.

CNN reported on Jan. 9 that young Aitazaz died tackling the suicide bomber as he was making his way towards Aitazaz’s school on Monday, when students at the school were gathering for a morning assembly.

Bangash met the suspicious suicide bomber minutes earlier, when “the bomber, dressed in a school uniform, asked him [Aitazaz] where the school was.”

As the bomber turned and walked toward the school, young Aitazaz ran after him, threw a rock at him, and tackled the bomber at the school’s main entrance.

“During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb," said Aitazaz’s cousin, who was also at the scene.

Both Aitazaz and the bomber died when the bomb exploded. Two other people in the immediate area were also injured.

"It was a great sacrifice to save the lives of hundreds of both Shia and Sunni students, who were in morning assembly," said Aitazaz’s cousin Musadiq Ali Bangash, who witnessed the tragedy.

Pakistanis on social media are praising Aitazaz's bravery, with people on Twitter asking everyone to use hastags #onemillionaitzazs or simply #aitzaz and calling for his heroism to be recognized with an award.

For more on the story of young Aitazaz Hassan Bangash dying while taking out that suicide bomber, see the video accompanying this article.

Follow-up: Pakistan to honor student who died tackling suicide bomber with Star of Bravery

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