Lunch Table Switch Helped American Survive Kenya Attack

A chance table change during her lunch may have helped one American woman survive the bloody terrorist siege of a mall in Nairobi this weekend. Bendita Malakia, a lawyer for the World Bank, was meeting a colleague at the upscale mall in the Kenyan capital for lunch and happened to move to a different table they liked more, just before the gunfire began. "We had a drink, and we're chatting, and then all of a sudden there's this explosion," she told NBC News, just after she got back to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "The gentleman who had taken my [old] seat must have gotten shot immediately because he was basically on the floor, on the ground, like dead right next to the chair that I was sitting in," she said. Afterward, as another explosion went off, Malakia and her friend crawled to an employee break room where they hid with 15 others, still able to hear the chaos and executions that were going on outside. Hours later, a security team showed up to help rescue them, and they ran from the mall.

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