Friday, September 22, 2023


Where your horizon expands every day.


The courageous British individuals who assisted in rescuing victims during the terrorist attack at a mall in Kenya have now been identified as a former member of the Special Air Service and a Welsh Ranger.

The sounds of shoppers screaming mixed with the sound of AK-47 gunfire and sporadic grenade explosions.

The frightened group urgently wanted to escape the violent incident at the high-end mall, but in the chaos, two individuals without weapons were pushing against the crowd, determined to enter the danger zone.

AP:Associated Press

In 2013, a group of four individuals attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, resulting in the deaths of 67 individuals.


Taff Groves, a Cardiff native and ex-SAS soldier, did not hesitate in facing peril.

PT Podcast

Former Irish Ranger Lorcan Byrne served as the security manager for Taff in Nairobi and was familiar with the layout of the mall.

One survivor, ten years later, remembers their bravery and states: “They will forever be like angels to us – heroes sent by God for a lifetime.”

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in which 62 civilians, including four Brits, were murdered and around 200 seriously wounded.

Retired Royal Marine Major Dominic Troulan was awarded the George Cross for his bravery on that fateful day. However, two other ex-soldiers who also rescued numerous individuals from the massacre have not received any official recognition.

Today, The Sun can identify them as Taff Groves, a former SAS soldier, and Lorcan Byrne, a former Irish Ranger. We will also uncover their untold tale of extraordinary bravery.

Taff, who is the security advisor for a logistics company, was in Nairobi to meet with his local security manager, Lorcan (age 47), when initial reports of a shooting at the mall were received.

After realizing that a coworker and his spouse were at the shopping center, Taff and Lorcan sent them a text to inform them that they were heading there. They then quickly got into a car and made their way on foot through the chaotic crowds for the final one hundred yards.

The sound of gunshots and explosions could be heard, while the path leading to the mall was filled with corpses, injured victims, and those on the brink of death. Despite the danger posed by four al-Shabaab terrorists on a violent spree, they continued on their path without hesitation.

Utilizing Lorcan’s familiarity with the area, they opted to attempt access to the shopping center by way of the subterranean parking garage, carefully navigating between pillars towards the rear of a grocery store.

Taff, a Cardiff native in his sixties with 30 years of experience in the SAS, recounted, “We heard a lot of gunfire and decided to move towards it.”

“At first glance, it may not have been the most favorable decision, but as soon as we witnessed numerous bullets being fired, it felt as though we were directly in the midst of the terrorists.”

They withdrew to a loading dock where they found approximately 200 frightened employees and customers taking cover under trucks, in dumpsters, or behind carts.

Taff stated that individuals had become paralyzed with fear and were unable to take action.

We began working together to organize them and instructed them, “Pay attention to the bursts of gunfire.”

“After the bursts ceased, we exclaimed, ‘Let’s go!’ and proceeded to run them towards the exit.”

At that time, they received a message from their coworker Herman Lang and his wife Noella from Canada, informing them that they were among many others who had taken refuge in a storage room at the back of the Onami restaurant located on the opposite end of the mall. They also mentioned that there was gunfire occurring within the restaurant.

Taff and Lorcan discovered a group of four alarmed police and security guards from Kenya in the loading zone.

They declined to hand over their weapons, but they did consent to join them in climbing one of the service stairwells, where the sounds of gunfire and explosions could be heard echoing.

When they arrived at the third floor, they stationed a police officer with an AK-47 rifle to prevent the terrorists from coming back.

Next, they knocked on the back entrance of the nearby Java Café and found many frightened shoppers. They led them to safety through the service stairwell.

Taff and Lorcan, from the café, were able to observe the rooftop car park where a cooking competition for children had been taking place before the arrival of the terrorists.

The attackers fired gunshots and hurled grenades at a group of people including men, women, and children. They came back multiple times to carry out the horrific act again.

Lorcan described the scene as bodies scattered among trestle tables filled with food and cooking counters.

“I observed a minimum of 30 deceased individuals and multiple casualties within the designated region. There were individuals suffering from severe injuries, resulting in fatal bleeding.”

A woman who was pregnant had been struck by a bullet in her abdomen and later in her face. Multiple deceased children were found in flipped strollers.

As the mother pleaded for assistance and cradled her child, I had to continue onward, as there was no way I could assist with so many casualties.

A gathering of approximately 150 individuals were discovered in a state of distress, huddled in a corner of the parking lot. The group was screaming and there was an unexploded grenade on the ground in front of them.

Taff safely guided them as Lorcan led them towards the Java Café.

Taff stated that the situation was chaotic as they were making eye contact and speaking with the individuals while assisting them down the stairs.

“Whenever possible, I encouraged them to assist someone else in order to distract them from the traumatic experience. Persuading them to relocate was a challenging task.”

Next, a pair of terrorists emerged on a rooftop above and resumed shooting, causing injuries to a few of the shoppers trying to escape.


Customers quickly descend the escalator in the mall.


A soldier from Kenya who is located inside the mall.

Throughout the ordeal, Taff and Lorcan repeatedly inquired about the availability of a weapon. Eventually, one man offered his pistol and 15 rounds. The group then decided to send Lorcan, who was familiar with the mall’s layout, accompanied by an armed police officer, to attempt reaching the Onami restaurant.

At the same time, Taff continued to help distressed individuals leave the parking lot. Taff, who was still a member of the SAS reserves, said to Lorcan, “I’ll see you in Valhalla!”

Afterwards, he reached out to SAS headquarters in Hereford to inform them of the ongoing situation and share his knowledge.

Upon reaching the highest level, Lorcan was immediately targeted by the terrorists and retaliated with three shots.

While seeking shelter, he almost knocked himself unconscious after slipping on numerous spent shell casings and hitting his head on the marble floor.


At that moment, the officer declined to continue.

As two attackers approached him once more, Lorcan shot four more times and stated, “I know I hit one of them and they fled.”

After arriving at the restaurant, Lorcan sent a text to Herman Lang requesting the opening of the storeroom door.

The individual instructed the Canadian to grip onto Lorcan’s belt, while his wife held onto her husband’s belt. He then hurried back to the location where Taff had established their route of escape, with approximately 60 individuals trailing behind in a strange chain, each holding onto the person in front of them.

While fleeing for safety, the terrorists opened fire once more. Lorcan retaliated by shooting four additional rounds at the attackers.

During this time, Taff attended to the injured by tearing up pieces of table cloth and using tables as improvised stretchers. He also assisted in guiding the newly escaped individuals to a place of safety upon Lorcan’s return.

After Lorcan escorted the Langs to a waiting vehicle, Taff descended to the street in an attempt to convince the nearby police and a Kenyan military general to accompany him back to the shopping mall.

The general refused to act until a Swat team arrived, even though he was caught on camera arguing his point.

Afterwards, Taff and Lorcan went back to the shopping center with additional volunteers. They spent another few hours providing aid to those injured in the rooftop parking lot while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.

At approximately 4pm, only deceased individuals were present, prompting Taff and Lorcan to return to their workplace.

The four individuals carrying firearms were fatally shot and the rest of the conspirators were apprehended.

Taff departed from Kenya the following day, and their involvement in the rescue, alongside Lorcan, remained known only to the individuals they had aided.

Amanda and Simon Belcher, who are British citizens living in Kenya, were present during the cookery competition when terrorists began shooting and throwing grenades. They managed to hide under nearby cars for safety.

Simon, the leader of the safari group, was on the brink of death after being shot in the chest and arm while shielding three-year-old Subh Parihar and their nanny underneath his vehicle.

Amanda expressed gratitude towards Taff and Lorcan, stating that without them, they would not have survived. They are unable to fully convey their appreciation.

Rita, Subh’s mother, was separated from her children during the chaos. She was informed by their nanny that Taff and Lorcan had assisted them in reaching safety. She expressed her gratitude by saying, “They will always be like angels to us – heroes sent by God for a lifetime.”

Herman Lang recounted: “I have a memory of Taff being positioned at the top of the stairs in the café and guiding us down the stairwell. Noella also has a vivid recollection of him. He inquired about her well-being.”

“We hurriedly descended the stairs to reach the loading dock, with Lorcan leading the way and Taff covering our rear.”

I recall seeing the walls of the stairwell covered in smears of blood, most likely from the hands of those descending. Additionally, there was a recent blood trail on the steps.

Taff has been hesitant to receive praise due to the numerous other courageous actions that took place on that day.

According to him, individuals with previous military experience have a significant edge over those who have never faced similar circumstances.

“After going through training, there is no room for hesitation. Any soldier would agree, as there is no room for inaction.”

“We coincidentally happened to be present on that particular day. I never gave it any prior consideration, it was simply a spur-of-the-moment decision to go and explore what we could do.”

There was no concrete plan in place.


Taff and Lorcan assist those injured from the attack.

Times Newspapers Ltd

Dominic Troulan, a former Major in the Royal Marines, was awarded the George Cross.


A young child flees to safety amidst a violent massacre.