Pakistan to award ‘courage’ of citizen killed in Christchurch

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A Pakistani victim of the Christchurch attack who apparently tried to tackle the gunman before being shot dead will be awarded posthumously in his home country for his courage, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday.

Khan spoke as the Pakistani foreign office confirmed that nine of its citizens had been killed in the mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city which claimed the lives of 50 people Friday, including many who had emigrated from around the world.

Video of the massacre shows one man gunned down as he approaches the shooter, while others flee.

The man is believed to be Naeem Rashid, although his face is blurred in the footage and he has yet to be formally identified.

“Pakistan is proud of Mian Naeem Rashid who was martyred trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist & his courage will be recognised with a national award,” Khan tweeted on Sunday.

Pakistan has several awards to recognize civilian bravery, and Khan did not specify which one would be awarded to Rashid, whose son also died in the massacre.

Rashid’s elder brother Khurshid Alam, who spoke to AFP by telephone from the northwestern Pakistani city of Abbottabad on Saturday, said he was “proud” of his sibling.

“He could have saved his life but he preferred to save others. He was a brave guy,” Alam said, confirming that one of his two nephews, Talha Naeem, was also killed.

He said his brother would likely be buried in New Zealand, adding that the family are seeking visas to attend but that they were difficult to get quickly.