Aitzaz Hasan
Aitzaz Hasan sacrificed his life to save a school of 2,000 students YouTube

Tributes are being paid to Pakistani schoolboy Aitzaz Hasan who died preventing a suicide bomber attacking his school.

The 15-year-old was with friends at the school in Ibrahimzai village outside Hangu city, northwestern Pakistan, when they saw a man in a suicide vest approach.

Aitzaz's friends tried to stop him confronting the bomber but the boy reportedly threw a stone at the man then ran towards him when the bomber detonated the explosives in his vest. His actions prevented carnage at the school, which is attended by 2,000 students, said authorities.

Hangu is close to the partially self-governed regions of Pakistan where there is a strong al-Qaida and Taliban presence. Discriminatory violence against Shia Muslims has been rife in the past.

His family said: "He is a shahid [martyr], a shahid of his whole nation."

Mudassar Bangish, the boy's cousin, told the BBC: "My cousin sacrificed his life saving his school and hundreds of students and school fellows.

"The suicide bomber wanted to destroy the school and students. It was my cousin who stopped him from this destruction."

Comparisons between Aitzaz and Malala Yousafzai, the teenager whose campaign for education of women in Pakistan led to the Taliban trying to kill her, have been made.

On Twitter, the hashtag #AitzazBraveheart has been trending, along with requests to award Aitzaz with the military decoration for those who have sacrificed their life for Pakistan.

Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, tweeted praise of the teenager.

The former Pakistani ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman also tweeted of Aitzaz's bravery: