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Australia offers French mall stabbing hero citizenship

Australia’s prime minister has suggested that a Frenchman who fended off the knife-wielding attacker who killed six people in a Sydney shopping mall on Saturday could be offered citizenship.

Damien Guerot has been dubbed “bollard man” and a “hero” of Saturday’s attack.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese singled Mr Guerot out for praise, thanking him for his “extraordinary bravery” in confronting Joel Cauchi on an escalator and preventing the 40-year-old attacker from reaching more victims.

“I say this to Damien Guerot who is dealing with his visa applications, that you are welcome here, you are welcome to stay for as long as you like,” Mr Albanese said.

“This is someone who we would welcome becoming an Australian citizen, although that would of course be a loss for France. We thank him for his extraordinary bravery.

“It says a lot about the nature of humanity at a time when we are facing difficult issues, that someone who is not a citizen of this country stood bravely at the top of those escalators and stopped this perpetrator from getting onto another floor and potentially inflicting further carnage on citizens,” Mr Albanese said.

Five women and one security guard were killed during the rampage

Australians have been shocked by the Saturday attack that took place in a busy shopping mall in the city’s eastern suburbs.

Five women and a security guard were killed during the rampage, which has not been blamed on terrorism.

Police are investigating whether Cauchi, who had a history of mental illness, targeted women specifically.

However Australians and Mr Albanese took some succour from strangers aiding each other during the attack and from the bravery of policewoman Amy Scott, who acting alone, tracked Cauchi down and shot him dead.

“I think that on Saturday we saw some of the best of human character at the same time as we saw such devastating tragedy,” Mr Albanese said.

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