Malian Muslim gets his French reward

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Lassana Bathily is rewarded for his heroics

A Malian Muslim who hid shoppers from an Islamist gunman during an attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris will be given French nationality, Reuters reported the interior ministry as saying on January 15.
After the gunman had already killed people during a hostage taking in the store on January 9, 24-year old shop attendant Lassana Bathily hid several people in the store’s freezer, turned off the light and told them to stay calm.
He then escaped to look for help. After initially being suspected of being an accomplice, he was able to tell police what was happening inside the store, where four Jewish hostages were killed before police shot gunman Amedy Coulibaly, a Frenchman of Malian origin.
‘I helped Jews. We’re all brothers,’ Bathily told BFM TV. ‘It’s not a question of Jews, Christians or Muslims, we’re all in the same boat,’ he said.
Reuters reported that a petition had been going around France over the last week to give Bathily citizenship ‘Following the acts of bravery by Mr Bathily during the hostage taking in the Hyper Casher market on Jan. 9, the interior ministry has fast-tracked (his) request for citizenship,’ the interior ministry said in a statement.
An official ceremony will be held on Jan 20.
Earlier this month, 17 people were killed in three days of violence that began with an attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and ended with dual sieges at a print works outside Paris and the kosher supermarket.

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