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African man who died shielding girl from terrorist gunfire in Paris called ‘a hero’

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As Obama promises unity with France, witnesses say diverse victims reveal ‘we are all in the same boat’

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from Global Information Network

( — Parisian friends of a Good Samaritan who died shielding a girl from a terrorist’s bullet, was called a hero by his friends for his selfless bravery.

L. Boumbas  was killed saving a girl's life during the Paris attacks.
Ludovic Boumbas was killed saving a girl’s life during the Paris attacks.

Ludovic Boumbas was dining with friends at the Paris cafe “Le Belle Equipe” on Friday, Nov. 13, after work. Tunisian-born Hodda Saadi, the restaurant manager, was celebrating her birthday with her sister, Halima. Suddenly an assassin burst into the cafe and began to fire.

Boumbas, an IT engineer born in Congo Brazzaville, threw himself in the direction of the bullets to save Hodda. She survived a short time, but later died. Ludovic, known as “Ludo,” was killed instantly as was Halima who was on a one-week visit to Paris before returning to Dakar, Senegal, where she lived.

Khaled Saadi, brother of Hodda and Halima, along with his brother Abdallah, were working that night at the cafe. Khaled fell to the floor for safety. When he got up, the sight of those dead was shattering.

In an online video, he described the calamity. “They killed everybody. My two sisters, my friends and my sisters’ friends that were there… It lasted a minute in total, but it was very long. I left the restaurant and they were all dead or suffering.”

Abdallah spoke: “We are all inhabitants of this planet… we need to help each other…There were black people, Arabic people, Jewish people there, all of us were hit. So we are all in the same boat.”

This cross-cultural unity was also reflected in the response by President Barack Obama this week.

“France is our oldest ally.  The French people have stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States time and again.  And we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” Obama said. “The American people draw strength from the French people’s commitment to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.  We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberté and égalité and fraternité are not only values that the French people care so deeply about, but they are values that we share.  And those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.We’re going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice, and to go after any terrorist networks that go after our people.”

According to reports, overwhelmed medics had to abandon the most seriously injured so they could attend to those who had a chance to survive. Most recent reports from Paris indicate that 129 people were killed and 352 were injured, 99 of which were critical injuries.

Pictures of Ludo and many other victims are posted on the Twitter site #rechercheParis. The diversity of a multicultural, multiethnic Paris is clearly apparent in the many young faces.


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