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Muslim hailed for saving people in Paris

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Policemen check a car in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where two brothers suspected of Charlie Hebdo attack held one person hostage as police cornered the gunmen, on Jan. 9, 2015. The Kouachi brothers, suspects of Charlie Hebdo attacks, were killed during French security force's assault on Friday evening, and the hostages are alive.
Policemen check a car in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris, where two brothers suspected of Charlie Hebdo attack held one person hostage as police cornered the gunmen, on Jan. 9, 2015. The Kouachi brothers, suspects of Charlie Hebdo attacks, were killed during French security force’s assault on Friday evening, and the hostages are alive.

A Muslim man was hailed as a hero by the French media for saving hostages during a hostage crisis in a Paris supermarket.

Lassana Bathily, an employee at Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, helped to guide a group of hostages into a downstairs walk-in freezer while the gunman was preparing to kill them, CNN reported.

Bathily, a practicing Muslim, says he entered the freezer with some people, then switched off the freezer and the light, and told everyone to stay calm.

“I’m the one who is going to go out,” he told them. “I took the elevator and went upstairs.

“(Gunman Amedy) Coulibaly asked us all to come upstairs, otherwise he would kill everyone who was downstairs,” Bathily, 24, told BFMTV station.

Lassana Bathily
Lassana Bathily

The Muslim man, originally from Mali, exited from a freight elevator and ran outside. He was caught by police but helped them by describing the location of the freezer.

“When the hostages came out, they congratulated me,” Bathily said. The exact number of hostages who remained safe in the freezer Friday were not known.

Coulibaly was killed in a shootout with police. By then, he had killed four Jewish hostages.

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