BY F2FA, 4:26pm January 15, 2015,

Updated: Malian Hero Explains His Experience Saving Lives

Lassana Bathily

UPDATED 1/16/15, 10:56 A.M. EST: In a new interview, Malian hero Lassana Bathily (pictured) explains his experience saving 20 shoppers’ lives during the terrorist attack, according to the BBC.

Of how  he came to put the shoppers in the freezer, Bathily explains, “The customers started running down the steps. They were screaming [that] there were terrorists in the shop.

“I told them to come in with me. Then I switched off the fridge and the lights.”

Bathily’s next step was to get everyone to quiet down, “I told the customers to stay calm. [I said] If the terrorist comes down here he must not hear you.”

Once there was quiet, Bathily made the decision to escape and get some help. The police immediately saw him and began questioning him.

“They told me to put my hands up but then they asked me for my help.

“I told them a lot of hostages were hidden in the basement. They asked me to draw a map of the shop to help with their assault.”

Watch Lassana Bathily’s interview here:




Malian Lassana Bathily (pictured above), the Paris Kosher supermarket employee who saved the lives of 20 hostages during the now-deceased Amedy Coulibaly‘s (pictured) attack, has now been rewarded French nationality for his heroics, according to

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Last Thursday, after 32-year-old Coulibaly reportedly killed a policewoman, by Friday, he held Amedy Coulibalyfive hostages at the aforementioned supermarket as a fugitive.

Soon after, Bathily, who is Muslim, saw Coulibaly enter the store, and immediately thought to move 20 people to the downstairs freezer area for safety.

AllAfrica reports:

“[Bathily] told everyone to remain quiet, fearing the attacker might come after them, he explained to BFMTV afterwards.

“He then unplugged the freezer, turned off the light inside and kept a lookout.”

It wasn’t long, though, before Coulibaly realized that people were hiding downstairs.

Coulibaly reportedly ordered a worker to inform the hostages that if they didn’t come upstairs, he would personally come down and shoot everyone.

That’s when Bathily escaped outside using a delivery lift.

Police initially arrested Bathily for nearly two hours, believing he was a part of Coulibaly’s group.

Eventually, though, they realized that he was actually a hero due to his actions and the information he was able to provide.

Last July, Bathily applied for French nationality, and on Thursday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised his “bravery,” with the announcement that next Tuesday, Bathily will receive his nationality.

SEE ALSO: Tanzanian Officials Ban Witchdoctors in Order To Stop Murder of Albinos

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: September 15, 2018


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