The Taliban carried out a deadly attack at a Pakistani school. 21 were pronounced dead, but at least one Chemistry teacher saved lives as he fought off the attackers, giving the students time to escape.
Some in the teachers association had objected to arming the staff because “it was not their job to fight off militants”.
According to dawn.com, Syed Hamid Hussain was the assistant professor of chemistry at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda. He ordered his students to get down and opened fire on the Taliban attackers.
Students told of how he opened fire on gunmen as they rampaged across campus, giving the young people time to flee before he was cut down in a hail of bullets.
“We saw three terrorists shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” one man told reporters.
“One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.” He described seeing Hussain holding a pistol and firing at the attackers.
“Then we saw him fall down and as the terrorists entered the (registrar) office we ran away.”
Geology student Zahoor Ahmed said Hussain had warned him not to leave the building after the first shots were fired.
“He was holding a pistol in his hand,” he said.
“Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.”
“They fired directly at the professor,” sociology student Muhammad Daud told AFP, describing Hussain as “a real gentleman and a respectable teacher”.
The police were not able to get their in time to stop the bloodshed, which is why we have advocated for armed guards and staff at schools here in America. At least in this case a teacher was able to save some lives, even though his own was not spared.
Security officials said an operation to halt the bloodshed at the school ended several hours after it began, with police saying at least 21 people had been killed.
The military said it had killed four extremists. It was not clear if they were included in the death toll.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Teachers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were given permission to carry firearms in the classroom after Taliban militants massacred more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a school in Peshawar in 2014.
The attack on an army-run school in the city, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Charsadda, was the deadliest in Pakistani history, and saw heavily armed militants go from room to room slaughtering students and staff.