A man has apparently attained heroic status after he took his own life to save the lives of countless other people.
It has been reported that Najih Shaker Al-Baldawi approached a suicide bomber and hugged him as he made his way to a shrine in Balad, Iraq, after seeing that he was wearing a suicide belt.
The terrorist was one of a number of militants involved in the attack in the town 45 miles north of Baghdad.
In total 40 people were killed and 74 were wounded as the shrine was targeted with mortar fire then by suicide bombers wearing security force uniforms.
Security forces fired on the bombers, who were not able to enter the shrine, and two of them blew themselves up, while a third was shot dead, he said.
‘It is clear the cowardly attack on the shrine aims to spark sectarian tensions and drag Iraq back to the dark days of sectarian conflict,’ Jan Kubis, the UN’s top Iraq envoy, said in a statement.