LAHORE – Dubbed as martyr of education, Pakistani young professor Syed Hamid Hussain has defied a Taliban attack on the University of Charsadda, using his own gun to save students from shootings.
“We saw three terrorists 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.”
At this moment, Prof Hamid asked students not to leave the building.
Another student said he saw hero Dr Hamid, 34, fire at attackers with his gun.
“[Dr Hamid] was holding a pistol in his hand,” Zahoor Ahmed, a geology student, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Wednesday, January 20.
“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.”
The death of Dr Hamid was confirmed earlier in a statement published on the university’s Facebook page.
“They fired directly at” the professor, sociology student Muhammad Daud said, describing Husain as “a real gentleman and a respectable teacher”.
The attack on the University of Charsadda occurred on Wednesday when gunmen armed with grenades and Kalashnikovs stormed the university buildings, leaving at least 21 dead.
Security forces killed all four attackers in an assault claimed by a Pakistani Taliban faction but branded “un-Islamic” by the umbrella group’s leadership, who vowed to hunt down those responsible.
The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Umar Mansoor, a commander of the Hakimullah Mehsud faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP).
However, TTP’s central leadership strongly denied any involvement.
“TTP strongly condemns today’s attack and disassociates itself completely from this un-Islamic attack,” spokesman Muhammad Khurasani said on Twitter, vowing that the group would bring those behind it to justice.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared a national day of mourning for Thursday and directed the country’s security agencies to hunt those responsible for the attack, his office said.