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Turku attack hero "humbled" by Queen's award for bravery

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will bestow the George Medal for acts of bravery on Hassan Zubier for helping a victim of a deadly stabbing in Turku last August.

Hassan Zubier
Hassan Zubier Image: Helena Andersson

The Queen will confer the George Medal on Hassan Zubier, a British national resident in Sweden who attempted to help victims targeted during a vicious knife attack in Turku last August. Zubier was himself injured in the incident and is now confined to a wheel chair.

According to national broadcaster BBC, the George Medal recognises acts of great bravery and is primarily a civilian award.

Zubier’s name was also added to the Civilian Gallantry list, which names recipients of awards for bravery and gallantry.

Zubier was one of a number of people named on the list, which included heroes of the London Bridge terror attack that took place in June last year, and in which eight people died. Three attackers were also killed in the incident.

Zubier: Mixed feelings about receiving award

According to a Zubier support group on Facebook, the Queen will distribute the awards at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace during the autumn.

“I shall accept the award with great humility,” Zubier wrote on the page.

Zubier told the BBC that he also had mixed feelings about receiving the award, because of memories of the two people who lost their lives during the attack. In addition to the two women who were killed, eight others were injured.

President Sauli Niinistö also awarded Zubier with a life saving medal for his heroic acts in Turku. He is the first foreigner to have received the Finnish award.

Zubier, who had previous experience as a paramedic, attempted to staunch the bleeding on a woman whose throat had been slashed by the assailant.

His intervention exposed him to the attacker and he suffered a severed spinal cord. As a result he is now unable to walk unassisted and is confined to a wheelchair.

The attacker, Abderrahman Bouanane, a young Moroccan whose asylum application had been rejected, was convicted on two counts of murder with terrorist intent and eight counts of attempted murder with terrorist intent and slapped with a life sentence. He has indicated that he will appeal the verdict.

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