NAIROBI (Reuters) – As the sun set on an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi, Serge Medic’s phone pinged with a message from his son: “Dad, are you OK?… Don’t do anything silly, please.”
Medic chuckled as he recounted the moment.
“It was 18:43. Too late.”
Three hours earlier, at least four gunmen and a suicide bomber had stormed 14 Riverside Drive, a leafy office, restaurant and hotel complex in the heart of Kenya’s capital, kicking off a 20-hour siege in which 21 people were killed.
At 3.39 p.m. (1339 GMT), Medic, the 56-year-old Swiss founder of a private security firm, was on his way home from work in a taxi when he saw injured people being carried along the side of the road.
At the same moment, a flurry of WhatsApp messages pinged on his phone from a group called “LFH (Licensed Firearm Holders) Kenya.”