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Elizabeth City woman survives rampage in Kenya - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Elizabeth City woman survives rampage in Kenya

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NAIROBI, Kenya -

A woman who escaped the shooting rampage at a mall in Kenya is now talking about the ordeal after her family was terrified to learn through a text that she was at the site of an active shooter.

That's all Lue Malakia knew about her daughter, who was trapped in a shooting rampage at a mall in Nairobi.

"I was scared to death I was going to get a call saying she was dead," Malakia said.

Her daughter, 30-year-old Bendita Malakia, moved from Elizabeth City to Kenya to work for a financial company, said the gunmen barged in the terrace where she was eating and started shooting.

"We stood up and started to turn and we heard machine guns then we started to run and there was a second explosion which knocked us on the ground," she said.

Malakia and her friend made it inside a store, where dozens of people were hiding and hoping the gun shots wouldn't come their way.

"You could hear while we were back there them methodically going from store to store talking to people, asking questions, shooting, screams then it would stop for a while. Then they would go to another store," she said.

In the meantime, Malakia's mother was glued to the news, feeling helpless.

"And I couldn't get to her.  I couldn't make the wrongs right," the mother said.

After more than four hours, Malakia and the others were rescued by American security forces and the Kenyan army.

Her mother was horrified to learn what her daughter lived through.

"She said in between times,  you could hear people that had been shot, that were in pain," the mother said. "You could hear that, she said."

Malakia won't let herself feel the hurt, the pain, or the terror she felt inside the mall – only gratitude that those words weren't the last she shared with her mother.

"It was completely luck because we were on the ground floor, easily accessible," she said. So I think part of it was luck.  We did a lot of praying in there."

Meanwhile, the number of those killed in the attack has risen to 68 and at least 175 were reported injured. Kenya's military announced late Sunday that its security forces have retaken most of the mall from the attackers and rescued most of the hostages.

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