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Paris Charlie Hebdo Kosher Grocery Terrorism
Esther Bekerman, 19, left, a cousin of one of the hostages, and Eliahou Rouas Cohen, 19, right, light a candle at a makeshift memorial near a kosher grocery store where four hostages were killed in Paris, Jan. 10, 2015.  Francois Mori—AP

Muslim Man Hailed as Hero for Actions in Kosher Grocery Store Attack

Jan 10, 2015

A Muslim employee of the Paris kosher grocery store attacked by a terrorist Friday is being hailed as a hero for saving multiple customers from the gunman.

When Amedy Coulibaly opened fire in the Hyper Cacher grocery store, employee Lassana Bathily reportedly ushered several customers into a freezer to save them from the attack. "I went down to the freezer, I opened the door, there were several people who went in with me. I turned off the light and the freezer," Bathily, 24, told French network BFMTV, according to the Huffington Post's translation. "I brought them inside and I told them to stay calm here, I'm going to go out. When they got out, they thanked me."

Multiple people survived the attack, which French President Francois Hollande called "an anti-Semitic act," by hiding inside the freezer.

Some survivors were reportedly able to call their friends and relatives from the freezer in order to tell them they were alive. It is not yet clear how many people Bathily saved, since many traumatized survivors have not yet come forward with their version of events.

When police raided the store and killed Coulibaly, they originally thought Bathily was a co-conspirator, he says. "They told me, get down on the ground, hands over your head," he told BFMTV. "They cuffed me and held me for an hour and a half as if I was with them."

Bathily was hailed as a hero on social media at a time of especially high tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in France, in the wake of al-Qaeda-claimed terror attacks Wednesday against satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Friday against the kosher grocery store.

[H/T Huffington Post]

Large Crowds Rally Against Terrorism in Paris After Attacks

Thousands of people gather at Republique square in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
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Thousands of people gather at Place de la République in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.Peter Dejong—AP
Thousands of people gather at Republique square in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
French President Francois Hollande is surrounded by head of states including Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris Jan. 11, 2015.
Demonstrators make their way along Boulevrd Voltaire in a unity rally in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on Jan. 11, 2015 in Paris.
which has become a symbol for the cartoonists and editors killed at Charlie Hebdo
Families and relatives walk and hold banners reading 'Charlie' during a march to honor victims of the terrorist attacks and show unity, in Paris, Jan.11, 2015.
Demonstrators make their way along Place de la République during a mass unity rally following the recent terrorist attacks on Jan. 11, 2015 in Paris.
A man holds a giant pencil, which has become a symbol for the cartoonists and editors killed at Charlie Hebdoas as he takes part in the solidarity march in the streets of Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
People gather at the Place de la Nation in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
A balloon reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) is held at Place de la Bastille during the solidarity march on Jan. 11, 2015 in Paris.
A general view shows hundreds of thousands of French citizens taking part in a solidarity march in the streets of Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
Thousands of people gather at Place de la République in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015.
Peter Dejong—AP
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