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France grants French citizenship to Muslim man who saved lives at kosher grocery in Paris

  • French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, center, award citizenship to Lassana Bathily during a ceremony  in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, left, and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, center, award citizenship to Lassana Bathily during a ceremony in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lassana Bathily delivers his speech during a citizenship ceremony in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Lassana Bathily delivers his speech during a citizenship ceremony in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lassana Bathily listens to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve as he attends a citizenship ceremony in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Lassana Bathily listens to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve as he attends a citizenship ceremony in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Bathily, a Muslim employee born in Mali, has been granted French citizenship and honored as a hero by France’s authorities for saving lives during the attack of a kosher supermarket in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)  (The Associated Press)

French authorities have honored a Mali-born employee who saved lives at the kosher supermarket attacked by terrorists as a hero and granted him French citizenship.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised Muslim, 24, for his "courage" and "heroism" during a ceremony Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Cazeneuve said Bathily's "act of humanity has become a symbol of an Islam of peace and tolerance."

Bathily was in the store's underground stockroom when gunman Amedy Coulibaly burst in upstairs on January 9 and killed four people. He turned off the stockroom's freezer and hid a group of shoppers inside before sneaking out through a fire escape to speak to police and help them with their operation to free the 15 hostages and kill the attacker.