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Friday 23 March 2018

Bloody Sunday colonel shot dead in Kenya

Mike Pflanz and Sam Griffin

THE ex-British army colonel who was commander of the paratroopers that killed 14 people on Bloody Sunday has been shot dead during an armed robbery in Nairobi.

Edward Loden (73) was visiting family in the Kenyan capital when a group of men armed with machetes and a gun attacked the car in which he had been travelling with family members on Saturday.

During the Bloody Sunday shootings in Derry in 1972, he was in command of a Parachute Regiment unit that fired more than 100 shots. Thirteen civilians were killed at the scene with another passing away in hospital.

The Saville Report that investigated the deaths of Bloody Sunday exonerated Col Loden, stating: "At the time the casualties were being sustained, Major Loden neither realised nor should he have realised that his soldiers were or might be firing at people who were not posing or about to pose a threat."

Col Loden was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1959 and served on several operations around the world.

He was awarded a Military Cross for his service in the Aden emergency in 1967.

Col Loden died after shots were fired into the car by a group of bandits, who it is understood had been hiding in wait for a car to stop in the wealthy residential area.

His son Jamie, wife Jill and daughter-in-law were in the car at the time but no one else was hurt.

His family described the events as a "brutal tragedy" as they paid tribute to a "devoted family man and proud grand-father".

He was the second senior former Parachute Regiment officer to die in the country in less than a month, after intruders murdered Lt Col David Parkinson at his home near the British Army training base in Nanyuki.


In the latest attack, the armed men had been waiting for the family to return to their home in Langata, an upmarket area west of the city, and ambushed them as a guard prepared to open the gates.

"As the guard let the car inside and began to close the gates behind it, the robbers came in," said a Kenya police spokesman last night.

"They ran to the car, and there was some sort of argument, and they shot through the windscreen, and this elderly man was the one who was hit.

"We think this is a robbery, because the attackers stole only a necklace and an ATM card," she said.

Police were treating the attack as a robbery that went wrong. Ambushing people as they wait at their gates is a common tactic in Nairobi, but victims are rarely seriously injured because most surrender their vehicles and valuables.

Irish Independent

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