Tuesday 12 December 2017

Bloody Sunday commander shot dead in Kenya

The funeral procession of the 13 people who died on Bloody Sunday in 1972
The funeral procession of the 13 people who died on Bloody Sunday in 1972
Col. Edward Loden who was killed in Kenya

By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi and Hayley Dixon

A retired British Army colonel who commanded a unit of paratroopers on Bloody Sunday, has been shot and killed in front of his family whilst visiting his son in Kenya.

Col Edward Loden, 73, was ambushed by armed robbers as he returned to his son’s home from dinner late on Saturday night.

His son Jamie, his wife, Jill, and his daughter-in-law, Sarah, are believed to have been in the car with him at the time of the attack, although no-one else was hurt.

He had been visiting Jamie in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where he is a director of Barclays Bank’s Africa division.


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.

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


He went on to hold several other airborne posts including Brigade Major to 44 Para Brigade, Commanding Officer of 4 Para, and Colonel, Depot Para before retiring from the Army to pursue a career in business management and then giving up work to pursue his love of sailing in 1999, his family said.


In the attack in Kenya  the armed men had apparently been waiting for the family to return to the home in Langata, an upmarket area west the city which is home to many wealthy Kenyans and expatriates, and ambushed them as a guard prepared to open the gates.


"They were in the son's car, and they pulled up and honked for the watchman, but the robbers jumped them," said an officer at Langata Police station who refused to give his name.


"They were lying in wait. They shot into the car and the older gentleman was hit once or twice. He bled to death very quickly. No-one else was hurt. The robbers ran away when they saw that this would be a murder."


There was no suggestion that either Col Loden or his family had been individually targeted, and nothing of value was stolen. Police were treating the attack as a robbery that went wrong.


Ambushing people as they wait to be let into their gates is a common tactic in Nairobi, but victims are rarely seriously injured because most surrender their vehicles and valuables and are left unharmed.




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