Pakistan university attack: Chemistry professor Syed Hamid Hussain dies trying to save students

The death of Dr Hamid 'is a catastrophic loss for society'

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The Independent Online

One of the victims of the violent Pakistan university attack has been named as Syed Hamid Hussain, a professor in the chemistry department.  

Two of his students spoke about how he tried to save them and fight off the attackers at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.

On Wednesday, suspected Taliban gunmen stormed the campus, killing at least 20 people and injuring 51.

After security officials entered the university, a gun battle lasting several hours took place. Four gunmen were killed, the army said.

Recalling the moment he first heard gun shots, Zahoor Ahmed, a geology student, told AFP that Dr Hamid, 34, told him not to leave the building.

Mr Ahmed said: “[Dr Hamid] was holding a pistol in his hand.”

“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.”

Another student said they saw the professor fire at attackers with his gun.

People took to Twitter to pay their respects to Dr Hamid.

One user said Pakistan had "lost an asset", while another called him a "martyr of education".

The death of Dr Hamid was confirmed earlier in a statement published on the university’s Facebook page.

It read: “20 to 50 feared martyred this morning as 4 to 10 terrorists attacked our [university] taking advantage of heavy fog by entering through the back wall near Boys Hostel and started firing with heavy weapons indiscriminately.”

It said that Dr Hamid was among the confirmed deaths, as well as two females, two guards and a policeman.

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander named Umar Mansoor claimed responsibility for the attack earlier. However, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani denied that the group carried out the attack and called it "un-Islamic".

Additional reporting by agencies