ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 12 (UPI) – A Christian janitor died saving the lives of Muslims in the suicide attack at the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, officials say.
The Oct. 20 twin suicide bombings at the university killed six people including three women but university officials and students said the toll would have been higher were it not for the bravery of Pervaiz Masih, CNN reported.
Witnesses say one of the attackers, disguised as a woman, shot the guard on duty at a women’s cafeteria packed with hundreds of students. When Masih intercepted the bomber at the doorway, the attacker set off the explosives but much of the impact was directed toward open parking lot instead of inside the cafeteria, the report said.
Afsheen Zafar, 20, told CNN but for Masih “there could have been great, great destruction.”
“As a Christian, a person of minority, he stood in front of the Taliban to protect the university,” said Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’ minister of minorities. The government has promised to award his family about $12,000.
Christians are a small minority in Pakistan and most of them are poor. Masih, father of a 3-year-old girl, earned about $60 a month in his week-old job and had lived in a small room with seven other family members, the report said. The university has offered free education for Masih’s daughter and will employ his wife.