Heroic Officer Reportedly ‘Bear Hugged’ Suicide Bomber To Protect People From Explosion
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Fourteen people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his device in Afghanistan last week.
More than a dozen people were also injured in the attack at a security checkpoint in Kabul. However, those figures could have been much higher had it not been for the heroic act of a police officer - who ran towards the bomber shortly before the explosion.
Sayed Basam Pacha was guarding the checkpoint in front of a hotel where dignitaries were meeting. He noticed the terrorist walking towards him and when he yelled at him to stop, the bomber started running.
The 25-year-old officer then reportedly wrapped himself around the man like a 'bear hug' just seconds before the bomb was detonated. It killed Sayed, seven other police officers and six civilians.
Police spokesperson Basir Mujahed issued a statement, saying: "He's a hero; he saved many lives. All seven of those policemen are heroes but especially him. Just think if that suicide attacker got past the gate, what would have happened - you cannot even imagine."
Sayed's dad, General Sayed Nizam Agha, is a police commander and was overwhelmed by his son's heroism and bravery in the face of near certain death.
Mr Agha wanted people to know the backstory to the man who saved many lives, telling the New York Times: "He had two bachelor degrees, one in political science and another one at the police academy.
"He studied five years in Turkey. He came back from Turkey a year-and-a-half ago. He was 25 years old and he was single. He has three brothers and one sister. He and I are the only police in our family. He was a very sporty guy."
That wasn't the only loss that Mr Agha experienced as a result of the explosion, with his bodyguard of 15 years, whom he described as 'like a son', also being killed.
Sayed's death is also being mourned by his mates, with long-time friend Sayed Najib Asil telling As It Happens: "I think Basam is a hero. I don't know how to express my feelings, but it's very horrible and shock[ing] news.
"Pacha never expected to die. He was always worried about victims, but he never thinks that one day he would get killed."
His friends explained how Sayed desperately wanted to be like his dad and become a general one day. The 25-year-old hero was passionate about trying to make Kabul a better place and was strongly against corruption.