NAIROBI, Kenya -- A North Carolina woman, who moved to Nairobi in July, was one of many people in a Kenyan mall attacked by an al-Qaida-linked militant group over the weekend.
Survivor Bendita Malakia, from Elizabeth City, told CNN affiliate WAVY that she took refuge behind the closed metal gates of a store with dozens of others.
"While we were back there, you could hear them methodically going from store to store, talking to people and asking questions," she said. "They were shooting, screaming. Then it would stop for a while and they would go to another store."
Read: Kenya Mall Attack Enters 3rd Day With Gunfire, Explosions
Her mother, Lue Malakia, knew her daughter was trapped in the mall and was glued to the news. "I was scared to death I was going to get a call saying she was dead."
After more than four hours, Malakia and the others were rescued by American security forces and the Kenyan Army.
On Monday, Kenyan officials said security forces killed three Islamic extremists and have nearly taken control of the mall. The terrorist group, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 62 people.