“I can hear them coming … they are on their way and they are going to kill me.”

Sitting in the cockpit of his downed Black Hawk helicopter, Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant looked to the sky and tried to come to terms with his imminent death.

With each passing moment, his fear built until the crowd descended on him, ripping off his gear and beating him mercilessly.

They broke his nose, eye socket and cheekbone, and Durant was certain they were going to beat him to death.

But just when his chances for survival seemed bleakest, he heard it.

Pop. Pop. Pop.

The sound of gunfire rang out from somewhere in the crowd, and the beating stopped. At that instant, a man emerged from the mass of Somalis surrounding the battered pilot and proclaimed that he would be taken prisoner.

Watch: 'Black Hawk Down' pilot Michael Durant- 'I thought I was dead'

Read Next: Watch: 'Black Hawk Down' pilot Michael Durant- 'I thought I was dead'

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