Chemistry teacher defies Taliban in Bacha Khan University attack

CHARSADDA: A chemistry teacher who tried to protect his students by opening fire on Taliban militants during a deadly attack at the Bacha Khan University has been hailed as a “martyr” and a “gentleman”.

dr hamid charssada bacha khan uni.pngLecturer Syed Hamid Husain, an assistant professor of chemistry at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, ordered his students to stay inside as Taliban gunmen stormed the school on Wednesday, leaving at least 21 people dead.

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 Husain 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 Husain 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 Husain as “a real gentleman and a respectable teacher”.

Tributes were paid to the slain academic on Twitter.

“Martyr of #education: Prof Hamid who was killed by terrorists in #BachaKhanUniversity#Pakistan,” tweeted journalist and academic Raza Ahmad Rumi.

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