Heroes of mosque attacks to be honoured today

Dr Naeem Rashid. Photo: Supplied
Dr Naeem Rashid. Photo: Supplied
Nine people who risked their lives in acts of great bravery during the Christchurch terror attacks will be recognised at a special ceremony in the city today.

Dr Naeem Rashid died challenging the terrorist at the Al Noor mosque. It was announced last year he will posthumously receive the New Zealand Cross, along with Abdul Aziz, who chased the gunman away from the Linwood Islamic Centre.

Rashid ran at the terrorist, temporarily diverting his attention from people trying to escape through a broken window on the other side of the room.

During that time, at least seven people were able to flee.

"In a situation of extreme danger, Dr Rashid displayed great courage and bravery in challenging the gunman, with complete disregard for his own safety. In so doing, he selflessly enabled others to escape, at the cost of his own life.

"Without Dr Rashid's brave actions, the loss of life on 15 March 2019 would have been even greater," the citation read.

Abdul Aziz Photo: RNZ
Abdul Aziz Photo: RNZ
Abdul Aziz picked up a discarded rifle and shouted provocations at the gunman to divert his attention, with the intention of preventing further loss of life at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

He chased the terrorist to his car and threw the rifle at the back window, smashing it, before the gunman drove off with Aziz chasing after him down Linwood Avenue.

"Mr Aziz's brave actions deterred the gunman from re-entering this mosque to kill and maim others and ultimately forced the gunman to flee the mosque," the citation said.

Senior constables Scott Carmody and Jim Manning will receive the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for their exceptional courage in arresting the terrorist.

They intentionally collided with his car and dragged him out when he was wearing a bullet-proof vest with a knife, with two guns in the front seat and petrol containers arranged as an improvised explosive device in the boot.

Liam Beale will also be awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for stopping to help the injured after hearing gunshots when he was driving past the Al Noor Mosque.

He put his own life at risk by giving those who were wounded first aid and moving them to safety, all while the gunman was active in the area.

Lance Bradford, Wayne Maley, Mike Robinson and Mark Miller, who was killed in a crash near Cromwell earlier this year, will receive the New Zealand Bravery Medal for their efforts helping the victims.

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro will present the men with their awards at the ceremony at the Christchurch Town Hall.

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