The father of a four-year-old British boy, who was spared after telling a terrorist gunman in the Kenyan shopping centre siege he was “a very bad man”, has spoken of his relief.
Dan Prior, whose wife and six-year-old daughter also were spared, says he was relieved his family survived the ordeal and spoke of the trauma caused by the “senseless atrocity.”
But he says his thoughts are with those who were not so lucky.
Following the boy’s comments, the gunman reportedly asked the family for forgiveness and gave the children chocolate bars.
The youngster, from Windsor, Berkshire, was in a supermarket with his mother Amber and his sister when terrorists stormed the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi on Saturday, The British Sun reported.
The boy is believed to have been trying to protect his mother, who had been shot in the leg.
“I am very relieved that my family have survived and my thoughts go out to those families that are not as fortunate as my own,” Mr Prior said in a statement released today.
“My children are traumatised and my wife is very unwell as a result of this senseless atrocity.
“As a family we now need time and privacy to heal. We would strongly urge anyone interested in helping out the victims of this attack to make donations to the Kenya Red Cross.”
The youngster’s uncle Alex Coutts told The Sun that when terrorists asked if any children were alive in the supermarket, his nephew, nieces and their mother stood up and said `yes’, before the four-year-old said: “You’re a bad man, let us leave.”
“He was very brave,” Mr Coutts said.
“The terrorists even gave the kids Mars bars
Police and troops still surround the Westgate mall.
Two Kenyan soldiers who had recently been inside the mall told media shortly before the president spoke that the operation was effectively finished, but they said security forces were still combing the facility and had not definitively cleared all the rooms inside.
The boy’s story is not the only tale of bravery to emerge from the Westgate Mall’s rubble: A former British Royal Marine reportedly helped save a hundred lives as terrorists launched their attack.
The Daily Mail reports sources as crediting the ex-soldier as a hero of the Nairobi siege after intervening with a handgun as his only weapon.
The ex-soldier was reportedly having coffee at the Westgate mall when it was attacked by a group of 10 to 15 terrorists.
His story emerged after he was photographed – gun tucked into his pants – helping to guide two women away from the carnage. He is said to have then returned to the building which was ringing with intense gunfire.
A friend in Nairobi said: “What he did was so heroic,” a source said to be a friend of the soldier told the MailOnline.
“He was having coffee with friends when it happened. He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.”
British special operations troops regularly train in Kenya to gain experience in a jungle environment.