Abbott pays tribute to fallen hostages

2014-12-16 08:21
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife Margie pay their respect to the victims of the siege in Martin Place, Sydney. (Steve Christo, AP)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife Margie pay their respect to the victims of the siege in Martin Place, Sydney. (Steve Christo, AP)

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Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has laid flowers at a makeshift memorial in Sydney for the victims of a central city cafe siege which left three people dead.

Abbott laid a bouquet of white flowers at the memorial in Martin Place while his wife Margie laid a bouquet of red flowers. Abbott also wrote a message and waved at the crowd but did not address them.

Hundreds of people have been leaving flowers at the memorial.

A gunman took 17 hostages on Monday at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe.

The siege ended 16 hours later in a barrage of gunfire that left two hostages and the Iranian-born gunman dead, and a nation that has long prided itself on its peace rocked to its core.

The two innocent victims have since been hailed as heroes following the siege following one of many memorials held for the two deceased.

At a prayer service in St Mary's Cathedral about 500m from the cafe, Archbishop Anthony Fisher spoke of how the "heart of our city is broken by the deaths of two innocents", AFP reported.

"Reports have emerged this morning of the heroism of the male victim of this siege," Fisher said.

"Apparently seeing an opportunity Tori Johnson grabbed the gun, tragically it went off killing him. But it triggered the response of the police and eventual freedom for most of the hostages.

"Reports have also emerged that Katrina Dawson was shielding her pregnant friend from gunfire. These heroes were willing to lay down their lives so others might live."

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  australia  |  sydney siege

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