"My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children."
These are the words of Mujahid Ali, the father of a Pakistani teenager who lost his life confronting a suicide bomber outside his school in Hangu earlier this week. The BBC reports that Ali's son, Aitizaz Hasan, was just 15 years old. According to the Associated Press, the boy was 17.
Aitizaz's cousin, Mudassar, described the events to a BBC reporter. Aitizaz and his friends, the cousin said, were outside of their school when they spotted a man approaching with an explosive vest strapped to his body.
"So [Aitizaz] told them 'I'm going to stop him. He is going to school to kill my friends'," Mudassar explained. "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."
Another witness on the scene told CNN he saw Aitizaz first throw a rock at the bomber then physically grab him, at which point the explosives detonated.
Some are calling for Aitizaz to receive a Nishaan-e-Haider award, Pakistan's highest military honor.
“There are a handful of people in the world who are martyrs; I am now one of those proud fathers whose son is amongst them," Mujahid Ali said, according to The Telegraph.