A mother and daughter from Warwickshire are among those killed when terrorists stormed a shopping centre in Kenya.
Zahira Bawa and her young daughter Jenah Bawa, from Leamington have been confirmed among more than 60 victims killed in the terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping complex in the capital Nairobi.
Distraught father and husband, Louis Bawa, flew out to Kenya soon after the attack was reported – worried because he had not heard from the pair since “Islamist militants” stormed the shopping centre on Saturday.
Jenah’s grandmother, Shakuntna Bawa, who also lives in Leamington, said: “We knew that they were missing but we heard yesterday that unfortunately they had been killed.
“I feel pretty shocked – the whole family is in shock. I can’t say anything else at the moment, it’s very sad – but what can we do?”
The Warwickshire pair are among four Britons confirmed dead in the terrorist attack on a Nairobi shopping centre as Kenyan security forces moved in to bring the three-day stand-off to an end.
Coventry University graduate Mr Bawa, who has no other children, works for a company which designs and distributes marketing accessories for companies such as Aston Martin.
In an emotional TV interview filmed in Kenya before news of the pair’s death had been confirmed, Mr Bawa said: “The emotion is, I’m absolutely breaking up.
“All I’m hoping is that they are safe, that they are hiding and they are waiting for a time when it is safe to come out.”
But the Foreign Office confirmed that four British nationals were now known to be among the dead – along with people from France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Ghana, the United States and Canada.
None of the Britons had been formally identified by the Foreign Office, but police officers were sent to notify members of the Bawa family.
Police said that three terrorists had been killed and others injured as security forces moved into the Westgate complex in an attempt to bring the three-day stand-off to an end. Eleven soldiers from the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) were also wounded in the fighting.
The official Kenyan police Twitter feed reported that more than 200 civilians had been rescued as troops took control of all the floors of the mall.
“Chances of any terrorists sneaking and escaping are very slim. KDF troops have sealed all possible escape routes,” it said.
“Fire started in the building by the terrorists to distract the ongoing operation is being managed by fire fighters from different agencies.”
The Kenyan authorities said that 62 civilians had been confirmed dead, while 65 people were receiving treatment in hospital.