Soldiers hospitalised after British Army training exercise in Kenya ends in brawl

Exercise Askari Storm
Grenadier Guards mortars platoon giving fire support in a night attack on Exercise Askari Storm in Kenya in 2016. Photo: Twitter/BritishArmy

Reports have surfaced that a brawl broke out at the conclusion of a military exercise between the Gurkhas and the Paras in Kenya.

The initial story which broke in the Sun newspaper, claimed more than 100 soldiers from Royal Gurkha Rifles and 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment fought with machine-gun barrels, bats and poles at the end of the eight-week Askari Storm exercise in Kenya.

It reports that the Gurkhas, playing the enemy, hid in ambush and attacked the Paras, who immediately retaliated.

An Army spokesman said: “We can confirm that there was an incident involving soldiers during a training exercise in Kenya. This is under investigation by the Royal Military Police and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

According to “insiders”, there were numerous injuries and some were hospitalised. One told the Sun “It was like a scene from a football hooligan film. Soldiers were fighting using rifles and spare general-purpose machinegun barrels as clubs. A few of the guys were hospitalised, and there aren’t many without a bruise or gash.”

This latest incident follows a grudge which formed between the two units a couple of years ago when another brawl broke out during the same exercise at the Archer’s Post base in Nanyuki.

“On this exercise the Paras had been winding the Gurkhas up throughout,” the insider said. “I’m not sure who you’d declare the winners; the Gurkhas used surprise well so they may have clinched it.”

An Army source is quoted as saying: “These are two of the most elite infantry units in the world training intensely. Things can boil over. They are soldiers — they fight.”