Yesterday Lassana Bathily was awarded French citizenship after being hailed as a hero for helping shoppers survive the terrorist attack upon the kosher supermarket in a Paris suburb where he worked.

The 24-year-old, a Muslim born in Mali, was praised for his "courage" and "heroism" for hiding people in a storeroom while gunman Amedy Coulibaly stormed the Port de Vincennes supermarket and killed four people.

Bathily later escaped the supermarket and after convincing police he was an employee there, helped explain the layout of the store to them.

Last night he was given a French passport and medal at a ceremony attended by the country's prime minister Manuel Valls.

This is what he said:

Tonight, I am very proud but also very touched. I would like to truly thank everyone who believed in me, everyone that has always supported me.

People are calling me a hero but I am not a hero. I am Lassana and I will always just be myself.

I am truly happy to have dual-citizenship. Long live liberty. Long live friendship. Long live solidarity and long live friends.

He added:

People are all equal to me and skin colour isn't a matter. France is the country of human rights.

Last year Bathily applied for French citizenship after nine years working in the country. A petition calling on him to be rewarded for his bravery was signed by 420,000 people after he told French TV station BFM-TV about what took place at the supermarket.

"Yes, I helped Jews get out. We're brothers. It's not that we're Jewish or Christian or Muslims, we're all in the same boat," he said at the time.

Watch a video of last night's ceremony below:

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