Disturbing new surveillance footage recorded amid the deadly siege on a Kenyan mall last month offers a gut-wrenching glimpse into the utter chaos and carnage of the attack, which left 67 people dead and nearly 200 others injured over four days of bloodshed.
The devastating footage from inside the Westgate mall in Nairobi on Sept. 21 shows dozens of unsuspecting patrons, some of them children, strolling in a foyer as a small team of al Qaeda-linked Somali terrorists storm the complex, unleashing a hail of bullets and sending shoppers frantically fleeing in all directions.
The footage obtained by NBC News then jumps forward in time, showing one of the attackers aiming an automatic rifle at an unidentified man laying prostrate on the tile floor in the now-empty foyer. The gunman fires point blank, striking the man in the back.
Moments later, the wounded man can be seen flailing in a thick puddle of his own blood, struggling to stand. But he is apparently too injured to pick himself up, and collapses on his hands. At an unspecified later time, one of the gunmen returns to the blood-soaked man — now laying on his back, his legs splayed haphazardly — and fires at him multiple times at close range.
Later, two gunmen can be seen stalking the cleared halls. The glinting tile floors and gleaming merchandise display cases are a sickening remainder of the pleasant day of shopping that they brutally interrupted. Then they aim their weapons at an unseen target.
The footage also shows panic-stricken shoppers running down a hallway, presumably scrambling to flee the attackers. Amid the mass hysteria, one man can be seen tripping over another man, which sends him flying across the tile floor. He then does a military crawl to a kiosk, presumably to take cover from the gunmen's furious torrent of bullets.
And in another sequence, a line of hostages — including two children and their mother, who appears to push an injured third child in a shopping cart — proceed down a market aisle, with a gunman on their tail.
A teenage looking girl follows, her sweatshirt soaked with blood, holding her hands in the air as the gunman points the way ahead.
Over the course of the siege, some of the gunmen appear nonchalant. At one point in the footage, the terrorists sit in what appears to be a stock warehouse, taking turns praying. And at another point, one of the gunman can be seen using a cellphone.
The siege, which the Islamic terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for, lasted until Sept. 24.
First published October 17 2013, 3:02 PM