Ten years after the Westgate Attack in Nairobi that claimed the lives of at least 68 civilians, 1 of the survivors, a British citizen, has opened up on a conversation she had with one of the gunmen from that tragic day.
Amelie Prior, a 16-year-old British student, who was at the shopping mall, in an interview with a UK publication said that since the incident, she has been left with a memory of a conversation she had with one of the gunmen.
Prior was only six years old when the attack happened but the events of September 21 are still fresh in her mind.
A collage of a terrorist (left) and a police officer (right) of the attack at Westgate Mall in 2013
During the interview, she recalled that one of the heavily armed gunmen informed hostages that the attack was retaliation for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) peacekeeping operations in Somalia.
The gunman, she said, was angered by the loss of his family.
“I asked him why he was doing this and he told me it was because the Kenyan army had come to his village and killed all their wives and children, so they wanted revenge,” she told Mirror.
The teen further revealed that the gunman offered her a chocolate bar as he apologised.
“He then apologised to us, saying we weren’t the ones who killed his wife and children,” she added.
Prior was in the company of her mother and brother when the terrorist group staged one of the deadliest terror attacks in Kenya’s history.
Her mother used her body as a shield to protect her children from ensuing gunshots. She was unluckily shot on one of her legs.
The young family alongside other children were let go by the gunmen who revealed they were looking for specific nationalities.
Prior was left scarred by the events. She recalled having nightmares every night that the terrorists would attack them at home.
She only went back to the mall after 10 years when her family visited Kenya.
“As I get older, I realise there are a lot of people who lost their loved ones and I was lucky enough to keep my mother. Now I feel lucky,” she stated.
The Westgate Mall Attack occurred in September 2013. It is one of the most tragic terror attacks reported in the country.
At least 68 deaths were reported while survivors were left with severe injuries.
A photo of police officers rescuing civilians after the attack at Westgate Mall in 2013