Lieutenant Sayed Basam Pacha, an official of Afghan Police is a name most of us ought to remember.
On 16 November in Kabul, Afghanistan, Pacha on duty at an event attended by both civilians and dignitaries . Despite armed policemen on the ground, a suicide bomber managed to breach the security. The suicide bomber placed himself at the ‘heavily guarded gate, [which was] the only way in or out of the compound around the hall’, presumably hoping to prevent anyone’s escape from either end.
Lieutenant Pacha, suspicious of his activities, asked the suspect to stop which caused the latter to break into a run. To prevent him from moving further into the crowd, Pacha flung his arms about him. Successfully pinning him down with a bear hug. Or so he thought. The suicide bomber detonated the bomb strapped to his body and a massive explosion shook the place.
Eighteen were injured and fourteen died, including six civilians, seven policemen and the lieutenant. But the damage could have been much worse had it not been for Pacha and his bear hug taking the worst of the blast.
Basir Mujahed, a fellow policeman said about the incident:
“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.”
Pacha, who was just 25, is survived by three brothers, one sister and his father, General Sayed Nizam Agha, a senior police commander.