Despite her terror, a mother is said to have shown great presence of mind in protecting herself and her two children during the deadly siege at a Kenyan shopping mall this week.
As chaos erupted in Nairobi's Westgate Mall Saturday after a group of gunmen, reportedly armed with assault rifles and grenades, charged into the building and opened fire on shoppers, an unidentified woman is believed to have told her two young children to "play dead" in an attempt to escape harm.
The photograph of the trio, lying prostrate on the ground, a shopping bag by their side, captures the sheer horror of that fateful afternoon. (Photo Credit: KHABIR DHANJI/LANDOV)
On Tuesday, NBC Nightly News released footage that shows survivors of the mall attack escaping the building after the initial attack. Among the people caught on camera is the brave family, being ushered to safety by a man who is said to be a plainclothes officer.
After several days of crisis, Kenyan officials announced Tuesday that the military had regained control of Westgate from the gunmen, believed to be al-Shabab militants. Announcing the end of the siege, the country's president Uhuru Kenyatta said that the terrorists had been "ashamed and defeated."
"I am humbled and thank you all for your patience in the anxious moments where we waited for this nightmare to end," he said in an address to his countrymen, according to the Agence France-Presse. "There is literally no limit to your patriotic sacrifice."
More than 60 civilians reportedly died in the attack. BBC News says the death toll is expected to rise as the mall is cleared of debris.