A teenager in Pakistan made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of his classmates after he stopped a suicide bomber from entering the school's gate.
Aitazaz Hassan Bangash was on his way to the Ibrahimzai School on Monday in the Hangu district of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province when the suicide bomber, who was dressed in a school uniform, asked him where the school was, Aitazaz's cousin, Musadiq Ali Bangash, revealed to CNN.
After that interaction Aitazaz and his cousin became suspicious and began to question his presence near the school.
The other students backed off, but Aitazaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him. During the scuffle, the bomber panicked and detonated his bomb," Bangash told CNN.
"So [Aitizaz] told them 'I'm going to stop him. He is going to school to kill my friends'," Bangash revealed. "He wanted to capture this suicide bomber. He wanted to stop [him]. Meanwhile the suicide bomber blasted himself which resulted in the death of my cousin."
Reports indicate that when the bomber attempted to leave Aitazaz reached out and grabbed him. When the confrontation escalated the bomber detonated his bomb killing both of them. The blast injured several other people but there were no other fatalities reported.
Hangu is a district bordering Pakistan's tribal areas that has seen increased violence. The majority of those attacks are against Shia and Sunni Muslims.
"My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children," Mujahid Ali, the father of Aitazaz, told BBC.
Local residents are calling for Aitazaz to receive a posthumous award for his bravery.
"He saved the lives of hundreds of students. He deserves more recognition than Malala Yousafzai," Ali said.
Pakistanis have been comparing him to Malala, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban in October 2012 for promoting education for all children.