Police officer who hugged terrorist was a 'hero'

Afghan police officer wraps terrorist in bear hug, reducing number of victims killed in explosion.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Scene of the suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan
Scene of the suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan Police Lt. Sayed Basam Pacha, 25, on Thursday afternoon noticed a man suspected of being a suicide bomber, hugged him, and instantly became a hero.

At the time of the attack, Pacha was guarding a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, which had been rented for a political meeting.

Pacha had been drinking tea with some of the guests, but returned to his post at the gate as people started to leave. It was then that he noticed the suspect exiting the building and ordered him to halt. However, the terrorist instead began running towards a crowd, leading Pacha to stop him by wrapping him in a bear hug.

Seconds later, the terrorist detonated an explosive vest hidden under his coat, killing fourteen people and wounding eighteen others.

According to police spokesman Basir Mujahed, the dead included Pacha, seven other police officers, and six civilians. The wounded included seven police officers and eleven civilians.

Had Pacha not blunted the blast with his body, Mujahed explained, the death toll would have been much higher.

"He's a hero, he saved many lives," Mujahed said. "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."

Pacha's father, police commander General Sayed Nizam Agha, said, "My son sacrificed himself to save other people.... He and I are the only police in our family. He was a very sporty guy."

Agha also said his son had two bachelor degrees, one in political science and another one at the police academy, and had studied five years in Turkey, returning to Afghanistan a year and a half ago.

Pacha is survived by three brothers, one sister, and his parents.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.