M’sian heroes’ rescue of US soldiers in Somalia remembered

Showcase of bravery: Men dressed in military uniforms, similar to the ones worn by Malaysian troops in the ‘Black Hawk Down’ mission in Mogadishu, Somalia, at the Wira Keamanan exhibition at Kelana Jaya Sports Complex, Selangor. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The presence of some 40 men fully clad in military uniforms brought back memory of the rescue of US Army Rangers by Malaysian soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Visitors marvelled at the “throwback”, where Malaysian military personnel rescued US soldiers at Bakara market during the Black Hawk Down incident, at the Outdoor Expo Malaysia yesterday.

Organiser Brotherhood Camo Malaysia’s president Ismawi Ismail said the display was part of the Wira Keamanan exhibition, aimed at sharing the military history with the public and to honour the sacrifices of the nation’s heroes, at the event.

“If not for the Hollywood movie (Black Hawk Down), many would not know about the vital role played by our military personnel in rescuing the US soldiers.

“Thus such exhibition is important to tell the real story and other exploits of our soldiers so that awareness on their priceless contribution is spread,” he said.

Ismawi said the club has about 400 members consisting of former military personnel and members of the public, who are avid collectors of military uniforms, including vintage ones.

“For the exhibition, about 40 of us are here fully clad in military uniforms to commemorate the mission in Somalia.

“The movie presented the western view of the mission. Our exhibition today is to share the full story of Malaysian heroism in the mission,” he said.

The Bakara market incident on Oct 3, 1993, showcased the bravery and determination of Malaysian soldiers, who were part of the United Nations Peace Keeping mission, Ismawi said.

“We always tell the public to be proud of our military and cherish the sacrifice of the soldiers,” he said.

Meanwhile, club member Ammar Kamarudin, 40, said he was excited to take part in the exhibition.

“I am a collector of military uniforms especially vintage ones since 2013.

“I was interested in the military as my father was a former military man. I am glad to play my part in setting up the exhibition,” he said.

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