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Memorial services for Sydney siege victims begin

Credit: Reuters

Two victims of the deadly siege in Sydney were being remembered at private memorial services, a week after a gunman took them hostage inside a city cafe.

The memorial for Tori Johnson was held at a church close to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where he and 17 others were taken hostage on December 15 by shotgun-wielding Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a long criminal history.

The stand-off ended 16 hours later when police stormed the cafe in a barrage of gunfire to free the captives.

Mr Johnson, the cafe's 34-year-old manager, and 38-year-old lawyer Katrina Dawson were killed, along with Monis.

Credit: Reuters

Mr Johnson has since been lauded for his heroism, after reports emerged that he tried to wrestle the shotgun away from Monis, sacrificing his life and allowing several of his fellow hostages to escape before police moved in.

His partner of 14 years, Thomas Zinn, and father, Ken Johnson, helped to carry the white coffin into St Stephen's Uniting Church for the service.

Ms Dawson's memorial was scheduled for later today.

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