Conflict & Justice

Kenya mall attack through a photographer's lens

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Credit: Jennifer Huxta/Barcroft Media /Landov
An off-duty SAS soldier is being heralded as a hero following reports he saved 100 adults and children from the Nairobi shopping centre massacre. With a handgun tucked into his waistband, the man is pictured here aiding two women out of the Westgate mall moments after a terrorist squad attacked. The soldier, who cannot be named, was reportedly enjoying a coffee with friends when Islamists armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades stormed the building. He is reported to have re-entered the building 12 times during the shooting to help shoppers to safety.

Sometimes you see a photograph that stops you cold.

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You have to squint a bit, take a closer look, and really take in what you are seeing.

We noticed just such a photo earlier this week.

It was taken outside the Westgate mall in Nairobi, as the terrorist attack there unfolded.

In the picture, there's a man with his arms around two women.

He's walking them out of the mall.

The women both look like they're in shock.

And the man - whose face is obscured -- has a hand gun tucked into the waistband of his jeans.

It's been reported that the man is a British special forces soldier who was off-duty and having a coffee at the mall when the attack started.

That startling moment was captured by Jennifer Huxta.

She's a freelance photographer based in Nairobi.

We tracked her down to ask her about that photo and what it's been like documenting this horrific event and its aftermath

  • 12249461_H24537814.jpg

    Credit: Jennifer Huxta/Barcroft Media /Landov
    People escape from Westgate Shopping Mall aided by a private security agent (C) and an employee of Nakumatt grocery store (L) on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 12249461_H24516043.jpg

    Credit: Jennifer Huxta/Barcroft Media /Landov
    An off duty SAS soldier with his handgun saves two women trapped inside Westgate Mall on September 21, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. AN off-duty SAS soldier is being heralded as a hero following reports he saved 100 adults and children from the Nairobi shopping centre massacre. With a handgun tucked into his waistband, the man is pictured here aiding two women out of the Westgate mall moments after a terrorist squad attacked. The soldier, who cannot be named, was reportedly enjoying a coffee with friends when Islamists armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades stormed the building. He is reported to have re--entered the building 12 times during the shooting to help shoppers to safety.
  • 12249461_H24537826.jpg

    Credit: Jennifer Huxta/Barcroft Media /Landov
    A man stands next to his injured wife in a hospital after escaping from Westgate Shopping Mall after violent extremists linked to Al-Shabab killed at least 68 people in a siege that lasted 4 days on September 24, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.

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