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Lassana Bathily, the hero of the Hyper Cacher who had hidden hostages in the cold room during the attack on the Jewish grocery store, called on Tuesday, during her testimony at the trial of the January 2015 attacks, the “Jews” and “Muslims” not to “let themselves be divided” by terrorists.

The ex-hostage of the Hyper Cacher, Lassana bathily, hailed for his behavior during the attack on the grocery store, called on Tuesday, September 22, “Jews” and “Muslims” not to “let themselves be divided” by the terrorists.

“The terrorists are there to divide us, to create hatred between populations, between religions”, declared the young man of Malian origin and of Muslim faith, on the fifteenth day of the January 2015 terrorist attacks before the Special Assize Court of Paris.

“Muslims, Jews, they are brothers (…) We need to live together, to know each other”, insisted this former employee of Hyper Cacher, before paying tribute to his Jewish colleague Yohan Cohen, assassinated during the attack: “For me, he was more than a friend, he was a brother”.

“Hit or miss”

On January 9, 2015, Lassana Bathily was in the basement of the Porte de Vincennes grocery store, when the jihadist Amédy Coulibaly had burst into the store and fired his Kalashnikov at Yohan Cohen, then at customers.

When the shots rang out, “it was panic,” said the young man, who arrived in France in 2006. “Everyone was asking questions, people were looking for doors, emergency exits … It was stressful “.

To prevent the terrorist from discovering them, Lassana Bathily decides to open the door to the cold room and disconnect the refrigeration system. Then he suggests to the hostages remaining by his side to flee by the freight elevator.

For fear of being spotted because of the noise or of coming face to face outside with other terrorists, the latter decline. Lassana Bathily decides to take the risk. “I was like, ‘It goes or it breaks,'” he explains.

“We are humans first and foremost”

Arrived in the street, Lassana Bathily finds himself facing the police. “They took me for a terrorist,” said the one who said he had to “lie down on the ground”: “They put me in handcuffs, then kept me for an hour and a half in a car”. A “misunderstanding”, acknowledged Monday an investigator.

Finally identified as one of the employees of the grocery store, Lassana Bathily was able to describe to the police the configuration of the premises and explain to them how to use the keys of the automatic curtain. Decisive details for the onslaught of the RAID and the BRI, given around 5:00 p.m.

Lassana Bathily, who obtained French nationality after the attacks and then a post of civil servant at the town hall of Paris, where he supervises young people, insists for his part on the message of “peace” that he has conveyed since the tragedy.

“Religion is something private. Before being Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist, we are first and foremost human,” he concluded.

With AFP

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