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Mamoudou Gassama: Mali ‘Spiderman’ to be made French citizen

A Malian migrant, hailed as a hero after mounting a daring rescue to save a small boy dangling from a balcony in Paris, is to be made a French citizen.

BBC

Mamoudou Gassama won widespread praise after climbing the outside of the building to save the four-year-old.

Video showed him being cheered on by spectators as he pulled himself from balcony to balcony to the fourth floor.

After meeting him at the Elysee Palace, President Emmanuel Macron said he would be made a naturalised citizen.

He personally thanked Mr Gassama, gave him a medal for courage and said he would also be offered a role in the fire service.

Mr Gassama is said to have arrived in France last year, taking the long and dangerous journey to Europe via a boat over the Mediterranean to Italy.

The drama that thrust him to fame unfolded on Saturday evening on a street in the north of the city.

Mr Gassama said he had been walking past when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building.

He told Mr Macron: “I just didn’t have time to think, I ran across the road to go and save him.

“I just climbed up and thank God, God helped me. The more I climbed the more I had the courage to climb up higher, that’s it,” he added.

He said that the boy was crying when he hauled him to safety and had also suffered an injured foot.

Firefighters arrived to find the child had already been rescued.

“Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a spokesperson said.

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