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Paris attacks: Man hailed as hero for shielding woman from bullets at café

A French man from Lille is being hailed as a hero for throwing himself in front of a woman when the shooting started at La Belle Équipe restaurant in Paris on Friday.

40-year-old was at La Belle Équipe café with friends when shooting started

Ludovic Boumbas, 40, from Lille, is being hailed as a hero for throwing himself in front of a woman when the shooting began, saving her life. (Brazza News/Facebook)

A French man from Lille is being hailed as a hero for throwing himself in front of a woman when the shooting started at La Belle Équipe restaurant in Paris on Friday.

The shooting was one of several co-ordinated attacks that killed 129 people and injured hundreds more, many seriously.

Ludovic Boumbas, 40, was at the restaurant with several friends, including two Tunisian women, sisters Houda, 35, and Halima Saadi, 36, when the shooting began. Halima, a mother of two, was killed at the scene, while Houda died later in hospital. Their brother Khaled, a server at the café, was also present during the shooting.

Houda and Halima Saadi, sisters from Tunisia, both died in the shooting at La Belle Équipe restaurant. (@Soleil444/Twitter)

An unnamed friend of Boumbas', speaking to Le Parisien, said Boumbas threw himself in front of a woman at the restaurant to shield her from the gunfire. He was killed in the attack. The woman he saved is alive but in critical condition.

Boumbas was reported to be a FedEx senior systems solutions architect who was at the cafe to celebrate Houda's 35th birthday. The friend said that he loved travelling, dancing and sports.

"He was just one of life's good, good people. He didn't stand a chance," said the friend.

French prosecutor François Molins said Friday that 18 people died at the café.

Brothers Khaled Saadi, 27, left and Abdullah Saadi, 38. Khaled was working at La Belle Équipe restaurant, where his sister was celebrating her birthday, when the gunmen attacked the café. Halima, 35, died on the spot. Houda, 36, was severely wounded. Khaled Saadi said he did everything he could to try to save her, but she later died of her injuries. (Kamil Zihnioglu/Associated Press)

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