Ludovic Boumbas was dining with friends at the Paris cafe “Le Belle Equipe” on Friday night after work. Tunisian-born Hodda Saadi, the restaurant manager, was celebrating her birthday with her sister Halima. Suddenly an assassin burst into the cafe and began to fire.
Boumbas, an IT engineer born in Congo Brazzaville, threw himself in the direction of the bullets to save Hodda. She survived a short time, but later died. Ludovic, known as “Ludo,” was killed instantly as did Halima who was on a one week visit to Paris before returning to Dakar, Senegal, where she lived.
Khaled Saadi, brother of Hodda and Halima, with his brother Abdallah, were working that night at the cafe. Khaled fell to the floor for safety. When he got up, the sight of the dead was shattering.
In an online video, he described the calamity. “They killed everybody. My two sisters, my friends and my sisters’ friends that were there… It lasted a minute in total, but it was very long. I left the restaurant and they were all dead or suffering.”
Abdallah spoke: “We are all inhabitants of this planet… we need to help each other…There were black people, Arabic people, Jewish people there, all of us were hit. So we are all in the same boat.”
According to reports, overwhelmed medics had to abandon the most seriously injured so they could attend to those who had a chance.
Pictures of Ludo and many other victims are posted on the Twitter site #rechercheParis. The diversity of multicultural, multiethnic Paris is clearly apparent in the many young faces.