HANGU, Pakistan, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A 14-year-old Pakistani boy was killed preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school, officials said.
Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, a ninth grader at Ibrahimzai School in the Hangu district of northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was making his way to school Monday with his cousin when they were approached by another teen who asked where the school was, CNN reported.
Aitazaz and his cousin, Musadiq Ali Bangash, became suspicious, Musadiq told CNN.
"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," he said.
Aitazaz and the bomber were killed and two other students were injured by the blast, witnesses said.
Aitazaz is being called a hero for his actions. Had the bomber entered the school, the casualties would have been much higher as students were gathered for a morning assembly, CNN said.
"It was a great sacrifice to save the lives of hundreds of both Shi[ite] and Sunni students, who were in morning assembly," Musadiq said.
Some local residents have called for Aitazaz to receive a posthumous award, CNN said.
"He saved the lives of hundreds of students. He deserves more recognition than Malala Yousafzai," said Nawaz Khan, who lives in the area, referencing the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for promoting equal education for boys and girls.