A chemistry professor tried to defend his students from a Taliban attack at a university in Pakistan on Jan. 20.
Syed Hamid Hussain, a lecturer at Pakistan's Bacha Khan University, is being hailed as a “martyr” for his attempt to save the lives of his students, reports Dawn.
Taliban gunmen attacked the university in Peshawar, Pakistan, and killed 21 people on Jan. 20, reports Dawn. Hussain reportedly kept firing on the Taliban militants, protecting his students, until he was killed.
“We saw three terrorists shouting ‘Allah is great’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” a student at Bacha Khan University said.
Pakistani authorities have confirmed that the shooting had been ended by security forces, and that the Taliban has claimed responsibility.
Students at the university described Hussain’s courageous effort to save them.
“He was holding a pistol in his hand,” said student Zahoor Ahmed, according to the Daily Mail.
“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 late professor was reportedly respected by his students.
“He would always help the students and he was the one who knew all their secrets because they would share all their problems with him,” said student Waqar Ali, reported Agence France-Presse, cited by the Daily Mail.
Mohammad Shazeb, a computer science student at the university, said, “He had a 9 mm pistol and used to tell us stories about his hunting trips.”
“When someone would go to bowl [with] him, he would joke: ‘Remember kiddo, I have a pistol.’”
Students and university colleagues took to social media to express their grief about Hussain's death.
“Martyr of #education: Prof Hamid who was killed by terrorists at #BachaKhanUniversity in #Pakistan,” fellow academic Raza Ahmad Rumi wrote in a tweet.
The attack on the university killed more than any similar attack in Pakistan’s history.