Terrorists stormed a hotel in Kenya this week. The attack began with a coordinated group of men who set off bombs and fired indiscriminately into the public areas of the hotel. 21 people were killed and many more injured. Yet new reports suggest that the attack might have been much worse had it not been for the response of some unexpected first responders.
One of them belonged to the British SAS. The soldier was off duty and out of uniform, but when he heard that the attack had begun, he grabbed his gear and ran toward the danger.
“He is understood to have been out shopping in the city when he heard about the attack and kitted up with equipment in the back of his car before heading to the scene to ‘organise the entire operation’. Insiders say there is ‘no doubt’ his actions saved lives and he was hailed for his bravery last night, Daily Mail writes.
Images from the scene showed the man, with his face obscured, helping evacuate the wounded. “He is a long serving member of the Regiment, there is no doubt his actions saved lives,” an anonymous witness told reporters.
“More than 700 people were evacuated from the complex during the 20-hour siege,” DM adds, “however some 50 people believed to have been in the building at the time of the attack are still unaccounted for, according to the Kenya Red Cross.”
When the attack began, chaos ensured. Nairobi police responded, but were not prepared for the extent of casualties and the ongoing gun fight. They were joined by Kenyan Special Forces soon after.
The SAS soldier, who was in Kenya training their special forces, wasn’t the only unexpected participant. The Kenyans called in US Navy SEALs who also joined the fight [though details on their involvement remain largely under wraps].
This is far from the the first such attack in Nairobi. In 2013, terrorists attacked a mall. The seige lasted four days and left 67 people dead.
SAS veteran Chris Ryan talked to reporters after the news of the current soldier’s involvement was made public. Ryan said the soldier “was out shopping,” when the attack began.
“He had his equipment in the car so, when it all kicked off, he sprinted back and got kitted up before heading straight towards the fire-fight.”
“When he arrived in the hotel, he started organizing the entire operation, directing the police and army.”
“Then he went in there on his own to neutralize the enemy and rescue the hostages. His actions certainly saved many lives and show the manner of these men, who are extremely brave and always ready.”