Tehran – A young Sunni soldier has become a national hero in Shia-majority Iran after being mutilated while trying to save a stray dog trapped in a minefield.
The story of Mohammad Bakhtar, 19, has gone viral in the country, with supportive tweets and photos pouring in since the incident at an Iranian military base last month.
On the freezing afternoon of December 17, Bakhtar noticed the dog caught in barbed wire around a minefield near an ammunition depot. Hearing the dog’s plaintive cries, Bakhtar rushed over to free the injured animal – and seconds later, a mine exploded, shattering his right leg.
“I was standing at my post that day … I heard the poor dog moaning non-stop,” Bakhtar told Al Jazeera. “I knew that it was a minefield, but I couldn’t reach the poor dog. Finally, I finally put my right foot to the other side of the barbed …