The woman holds a baby in her arms, but in her right hand carries the detonator to her bomb
At first sight the picture appears to show a mother cradling her young child as she flees an Islamic State-held area of Mosul.
But a closer look reveals she is holding a trigger, which she will pull seconds later.
An Iraqi TV station captured the moment before a suspected female Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) suicide bomber blew herself - and the baby - up near Iraqi troops.
She had apparently tried to detonate an explosives vest hidden under her hijab as she passed the soldiers, but it failed to go off until she had walked some distance away, a cameraman for al-Mawsleya TV said.
Woman holding detonator in Mosul blows herself up along with a small child moments after the picture was taken. CREDIT: AL-MAWSLEYA TV
She was killed along with her child, while two soldiers and several civilians were injured.
The station had been filming the battle between Iraqi troops and Isil fighters and did not realise what they had caught on camera until they reviewed their footage later.
Isil is cornered in a tiny square of the historic Old City, which the army said could be liberated by the end of the day.