Posted on January 17, 2019
A member of the SAS is believed to have helped secure a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi after 21 people, including a British man, were killed in a militant attack. The British man has been named as Luke Potter, programmes director at international development charity Gatsby Africa. Security forces in Kenya were called into to help end an armed siege by Islamist militants, Al-Shabaab, in Nairobi which began on Tuesday afternoon.
Announcing the end of the operation to secure the area on Wednesday, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “All the terrorists have been eliminated.” It is understood a member of the SAS was involved in the mission, although the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said it does not comment on Special Forces.
Images showed a heavily-armed man with a military vest and balaclava working with local forces and helping victims leave the complex. It was reported the lone SAS member was involved in the operation, along with US Navy seals, having been in the country to train Kenyan Special Forces. Security forces were sent into the hotel to flush out the gunmen and the Interior Ministry said the area had been secured on Tuesday night.
However, gunfire and another explosion were later reportedly heard at the scene. During the night, more than a hundred civilians were taken to safety. On Wednesday morning, the National Police Service said the area remained “under an active security operation” and ordered people to stay away “until it is declared safe”.
A UK Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are in contact with the Kenyan authorities who are coordinating a response and stand ready to assist as required.”