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The most public example of this role is the siege on the Iranian embassy in London. On April 30th, 1980 six armed men stormed the Iranian Embassy in London taking twenty-six people hostage. Six days later the SAS ended the siege, killing five terrorists and capturing one. It was the operation that propelled the SAS into the public eye and firmly established them as the worlds best counter-terrorist unit.

As the SAS left the Embassy, one trooper grabbed the insurance certificate noticing that it had expired on May 30th, 1980, the embassy wasn't refurbished and for years it was a popular tourist attraction.

Operation Nimrod took less than 15 minutes, five terrorists were killed and 19 hostages rescued.

Iranian Embassy

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