People Daily Reporter and agencies @PeopleDailyKe
A British Special Air Service (SAS) trooper is among foreign security officers who reinforced Kenyan police in response to a terror attack at the 14 Riverside Drive, Nairobi on Tuesday.
While special forces from foreign missions, including the US, Israeli and the UK joined the rescue operation, the heavily-armed SAS officer, clad in combat gear, stood out as he was captured on camera entering the complex under siege and then emerging with survivors.
His face largely concealed by a balaclava, the unnamed soldier used a modified colt Canada rifle and carried a Glock 9mm side weapon as well as a knife for hand-to-hand combat.
He is understood to have been out shopping in Nairobi when he heard about the attack and headed to the scene. Tuesday’s attack at the upscale neighbourhood claimed 21 lives.
More than 700 people were evacuated from the complex during the 20-hour siege, with the injured receiving treatment in various city hospitals.
The British SAS soldier was reportedly in Nairobi to train Kenyan special forces when a request for help went out to local forces.
“He was there training Kenyan forces when the shout went up, so they went in,” an insider was quoted by British media as saying.
“British Special Forces always run towards the sound of gunfire. He is a long serving member of the Regiment, there is no doubt his actions saved lives.”
Revealing more about the soldier’s daring actions, SAS veteran Chris Ryan – who served in the elite regiment for 10 years said: “He had his equipment in the car so when he went shopping in Nairobi. When it all kicked off, he sprinted back and got kitted up before heading straight towards the fire-fight.”
Meanwhile, another army veteran, who was awarded the George Cross when he risked his life to save hundreds of people held hostage by Islamic terrorists five years ago, again found himself at the centre of the action.
Retired Royal Marine Major Dominic Troulan was awarded the prestigious honour for his heroics in the 2013 terror attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall after he helped to rescue the wife and daughter of a friend trapped inside the shopping centre.
The former special forces soldier also risked his life repeatedly entering the mall to rescue other civilians. On Tuesday he was forced into action again when the six militants entered the complex where he had been working providing private security.
Meanwhile, security teams from the US embassy responded swiftly to counter the 14 Riverside Drive attack reported shortly after 3pm Tuesday.
A convoy of armoured vehicles from foreign missions including the US were seen driving into the complex to reinforce a multi-agency team of Kenyan officers which was being coordinated by, among other senior cops, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.
Foreign envoys commended security and pledged their support to avert such attacks in future.
“We reiterate our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who were killed in this craven attack and wish a quick recovery to those who were injured. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Kenya,” Outgoing US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said in a statement yesterday.
UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey said in a video message: “Our team has been working throughout the night to support the Kenyan security forces and British nationals who might have been caught up in the attack.”