Paris Hero Granted French Citizenship

Mali-born worker hid supermarket customers from gunman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2015 12:57 AM CST
Paris Hero Granted French Citizenship
Lassana Bathily delivers his speech during a citizenship ceremony in Paris yesterday.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Lassana Bathily, the Mali-born worker who saved several people when a gunman attacked a kosher grocery store in Paris earlier this month, is now a Frenchman. The 24-year-old Muslim, who has been in France for nearly a decade and filed his citizenship papers last year, had his application fast-tracked and was awarded citizenship at a ceremony attended by top French ministers yesterday, reports NBC. Officials praised his bravery in hiding customers after the gunman burst in, and they hailed him as "the newest citizen at the heart of this country."

Bathily said he was "proud and moved" to have been granted citizenship. "People say I'm a hero, but I'm not a hero. I'm Lassana," he said at the ceremony. "I'll stay the same. I would do the same again, because I was following my heart." Four men accused of assisting gunman Amedy Coulibaly, meanwhile, appeared in a Paris court yesterday after being accused of providing him with weapons and vehicles, the BBC reports. (The mayor of Paris says the city plans to sue Fox News over its report of Muslim "no-go zones.")

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