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Video: 'I just did what I had to do,' Malian 'Spiderman' rescuer tells FRANCE 24

Screengrab, France 24 | Mamoudou Gassama

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hailed the young Malian migrant who saved a 4-year-old child hanging perilously from a fourth-floor Paris balcony, saying his act of bravery opened the door to French citizenship.

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A video now seen around the world shows the 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama risking his life on Sunday as he scaled the façade of the apartment building one balcony at a time until he reached the boy, scooping him to safety as horrified onlookers watched below. Gassama was nicknamed Spiderman after his daring rescue and sat down with Macron on Monday at the Élysée Palace. Paris’s fire brigade, meanwhile, said it was “ready to welcome” the young Malian among their ranks.

“I wasn’t thinking about being brave. I just did what I had to do. I had to save him,” Gassama told FRANCE 24’s Mark Owen live in the studio on Monday.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full interview with hero Mamoudou Gassama, click on the player above.

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