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Photographer wins Pulitzer Prize for Westgate photos

A New York Times photographer was awarded a top prize on Monday for his photos of the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

Tyler Hicks, who began his career with the Times in 1999 while working in Kenya, received the Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in US journalism, in the category of “breaking news photography.”

The Pulitzer committee said it was bestowing the $10,000 award on Mr Hicks “for his compelling pictures that showed skill and bravery in documenting the unfolding terrorist attack at Westgate mall in Kenya.”

A slideshow in Monday’s Times of Mr Hicks’ Westgate photos include gruesome and heart-breaking images of slain, wounded and terrified shoppers.

Guards and soldiers hunting for the attackers are shown crouched in firing positions.

Smoke rises from the mall in one of the photos, while in another cars lie twisted in the ruins of the Westgate parking lot.

In a particularly dramatic shot taken from a balcony, a woman lying on the floor tries to shelter two children alongside her from the massacre taking place in the mall.

Mr Hicks was part of a New York Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for international reporting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey, but as the Pulitzer committee notes in its biography of Mr Hicks, “he is seldom home.”