Operation Barras was the name given to a hostage rescue operation by the Special Air Service, Special Boat Service, and Parachute Regiment in Sierra Leone on 10 September 2000. The men on the ground nicknamed the dangerous mission 'Operation Certain Death'.

 

 

Operation Barras was the name given to a hostage rescue operation by the Special Air Service, Special Boat Service, and Parachute Regiment in Sierra Leone on 10 September 2000. The men on the ground nicknamed the dangerous mission 'Operation Certain Death'. At 6:16 three Chinook and three Lynx helicopters took off from the Freetown airport and headed for Rokel Creek, upon the banks of which was located the West Side Boys' camp. On the northern bank was the village of Geberi Bana, where the remaining British soldiers were being kept. On the opposite bank were two more villages, Magberri and Forodugu, also occupied by the rebels. The Land Rovers used by the captured soldiers had been taken to Magbeni.

 

The attack on the rebel camps commenced at around 6:30 as the helicopters came in and disgorged troops almost simultaneously on both northern and southern target locations. In Geberi Bana, SAS observation teams, which had been inserted days before and had kept the rebels under surveillance ever since, began to engage them. The rescuers, SAS troopers, extracted the remaining six British soldiers and a Sierra Leonean Officer, within twenty minutes. They were flown out to the RFA Sir Percivale moored in Freetown harbour at about 7:00 that morning. In Magbeni, the Paratroopers engaged the awakened rebels. A second wave soon brought the Paras to full strength as they continued the assault. This attack diverted attention from the rescue mission on the opposite bank in Geberi Bana. Most of the action was over by 8:00, although the last British troops pulled out at 14:00 in the afternoon, after conducting mopping-up operations that saw the capture of Foday Kallay and the recovery of the Land Rovers.

 

RFA Argus and RFA Sir Percivale were engaged in support of this operation

 

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