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Tuesday, May 29, 2018 11:09:04 PM
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French family of rescued boy thanks hero Malian `Spiderman`

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30th-May-2018       
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AFP :
The family of the young boy saved by "Spiderman" Mamoudou Gassama in a daring rescue that won him global acclaim and a promise of French citizenship has thanked the Malian youth for his quick thinking.
Gassama, 22, scaled four storeys of an apartment bloc in France on Saturday to rescue the four-year-old who was spotted dangling from a balcony. On Tuesday, French authorities began the first steps towards making him a citizen in recognition of his bravery. The boy's father, who had been living alone with him in Paris, had left him alone to go out to the shops and then remained on the street to play Pokemon Go, according to French investigators.
The boy's mother learned the news of the rescue on Reunion Island-the French Indian Ocean territory where she and the father were born and where she still lives. Reacting to Gassama's intervention on Antenne Reunion radio late Monday, the woman, who was not identified, said: "We can only thank him and thank heaven he was so reactive."
She said French police phoned her to tell her the news. "Then I saw video on the internet. But I should not have watched it because you know it's your son in the video."
Just half an hour earlier she had spoken to both father and son in a video call, she said.
"Things could have turned out much worse so I am relieved," she said, adding that she was impatient to be reunited with her son and husband. The boy's paternal grandmother, who also lives in Reunion, told RMC radio Tuesday that she was "very moved" by the images of the rescue and sent "huge thanks" to Gassama.
"He's really a hero," she said. "He did not stand by and watch, he saved my little sweetpea."
Gassama, who had been living in France illegally since September 2017, arriving via the Mediterranean migrant route, told President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that he "did not think twice" before springing into action.

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