Irish Army ranger hero saved hundreds in Nairobi shopping mall siege

People flee the Westgate mall during the siege

A mysterious Irish Army ranger is among the unsung heroes who saved hundreds of terrified shoppers who were trapped inside the Westgate mall in the midst of the terrorist attack last Saturday.

The Irish man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was part of a group of four who fought off the al Qa'ida linked attackers at Kenya's largest shopping mall in Nairobi.

He is originally from the Midlands and works as a consultant with an international company based in Africa. He spent years in the Army Ranger Wing.

The Irish Independent reports that the Irishman was about to leave the mall as the siege began. He then ran back inside with a former British soldier.

Two Asian men then gave the two men guns before the four ran into an underground car park where they found more than 200 shoppers and staff hiding.

It is understood the four men brought the group up a ramp onto the street before they returned to the mall, where they found 100 more people. They also led this group to safety.

Next the two soldiers tried to gain access to the third floor of the mall but came under fire. They returned fire and found refuge in a restaurant, where other shoppers were hiding.

The pair then discovered another large group of shoppers and engaged in fire, before they managed to lead the group to safety.

A friend of the Irish Army Ranger told the nespaper: "They left no one behind.

"In escorting those people from the premises they took more fire from the upper floor before escaping.

"This man then spent three hours using his paramedical training to help the injured, including people who had been shot or hit by hand grenade shrapnel, and then turned restaurant tables into temporary stretchers to shuttle them to safety.

"His skills saved the lives of many. Eye witness accounts say he did an extraordinary job", the friend added.

His friend said he slipped out of the mall after the siege in blood-soaked jeans and tshirt and "stayed out of the limelight, despite tweets and appeals on Facebook from people, who wanted to thank him for his efforts."

The Somali al-Shabaab Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the attack in which at least 67 people were killed.