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British Special Forces Respond to Nairobi Attack?

15.01.2019

United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) soldiers have apparently been photographed responding to terror attacks in Nairobi, today. Heavily-armed gunmen - believed to be from the al-Shabab Islamic terrorist group - attacked a hotel complex in the Kenyan capital. Among the photos published online of security forces responding to the attack, a number of images show at least one soldier armed and equipped in a manner consistent with a UKSF operative, although this identification has not been officially confirmed.

Embed from Getty Images

A suspected UKSF soldier (left) and a Kenyan security forces member pictured aiding civilians caught up in attacks in Nairobi earlier today. The UKSF man is armed with a L119A2 carbine and wearing a Crye Precision Adaptive Vest System (AVS).


Footage from the Daily Mail's article on the subject.

It has long been believed that a number of soldiers with the 22nd Special Air Service (22 SAS) have been active in Kenya. The small contingent of SAS have reportedly been training and advising Kenyan security forces in their ongoing efforts against al-Shabab. In 2012 it was reported that 22 SAS had deployed a team to support Kenyan actions to secure their border with Somalia.[1] A year later, there were reports of SAS advisors on hand as Kenyan forces dealt with the al-Shabab attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.[2]

Update: the siege at the hotel in Nairobi is now officially over, with security forces in control. [3].

Update 2: The Sun newspaper has now reported that the UKSF operative pictured was "a long serving member of the Regiment" who got involved when the Kenyan security forces he was training got ordered to intervene at the hotel. He was apparently the sole UKSF soldier on the scene. [4].

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