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Two victims of 2017 mosque shooting receive medals for acts of courage

Aymen Derbali and his daughter Maryem are shown in their home in Quebec City, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

QUEBEC — Two victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting are among eight Quebecers honoured today by the provincial government for their acts of courage.

Medals were awarded to Aymen Derbali, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, and to Azzedine Soufiane, one of six men killed in the Jan 29, 2017 attack.

The 57-year-old Soufiane managed to pounce on the gunman and overpower him for several seconds. But he died when the shooter broke free and fired his weapon.

Derbali, who was hit by seven bullets, put himself in the line of fire in an effort to distract the shooter. He now uses a wheelchair.

Alexandre Bissonnette, who is to be sentenced on Friday, has pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Justice Minister Sonia LeBel presented the medals at a ceremony at the national assembly.

The Canadian Press