National & World News

Pakistani school to be renamed for teen who died tackling bomber

Zahir Shah Sherazi, (CNN) — The northern Pakistani school where a teenage boy died while tackling a suicide bomber last week will be renamed in his honor, a top provincial official announced Monday.

The school will be named after Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, the 14-year-old boy who authorities say saved an untold number of fellow students by sacrificing himself at the building’s main gate, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s chief minister said during a provincial assembly session.

The ninth-grader was on his way to school January 6 in the province’s Hangu district when the bomber, dressed in a school uniform, asked him where the school was, the teen’s cousin Musadiq Ali Bangash said.

Aitazaz challenged the bomber and tried to catch him, and the bomb detonated when the two scuffled, the cousin said.

Aitazaz and the bomber died at the scene. Witnesses said the blast injured two other people. Iftikhar Ahmed, a Hangu district police officer, confirmed the details of the attack to CNN.

Hangu is a troubled district bordering Pakistan’s tribal areas. It is rife with sectarian violence, with attacks against Shia and Sunni Muslims.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif nominated Aitazaz for the Sitara-e-Shujaat — the country’s top civil award for bravery. The same honor was given to Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl who survived being shot in the head in 2012 by the Taliban for her efforts to promote education for boys and girls.

CNN’s Saima Mohsin and Karen Smith contributed to this report.

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