Kenya mall attack: eight-year-old among six Britons confirmed dead – theguardian

By IndepthAfrica
In Eritrea
Sep 24th, 2013
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Father of Jennah Bawa described the terrorists as ‘animals … using religion as an excuse to kill people’

13 23.57 BST

Louis Bawa with daughter Jennah

Louis Bawa with his daughter Jennah, who was killed in the attack on the mall in Nairobi. Photograph: Newsteam

The father of an eight-year-old girl who was one of at least six Britons among the dozens killed during the terrorist attack and seige at the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi, said her killers were “animals … using religion as an excuse to kill people”.

Louis Bawa, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, is understood to have lost his daughter, Jennah, and Kenyan-born wife, Zahira, in the attacks, which have left more than 60 dead.

The businessman said that his heart had stopped when he identified them as he looked at photographs of the bodies that were still inside the mall.

“The people who did this, they are animals. They are using religion as an excuse to kill people,” he said.

“Zahira and Jennah were Muslims, but these animals just shot them the same as all of the others. At first I was convinced that they would be OK. I had hope. Then on Sunday night there was a team that went in to bring out some bodies and they took photographs of other bodies,” he said.

Bawa, who runs a marketing firm and had been commuting to his family from Dubai at weekends, said: “We all had to look at these pictures – something I would never want anyone to have to do – and identify them. That was how I knew. My heart just stopped, that was the last news in the world I wanted to hear. It’s like nothing else, I can’t fathom it, even now,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

The family reportedly lived in Leamington Spa until last year when Mrs Bawa returned to Kenya to care for her frail mother. Her husband’s brother, who still lives in Leamington Spa, has reportedly flown to Kenya to assist him.

Separately, a dual Australian-British national who was killed in the attack on the Westgate shopping centre has been identified as architect Ross Langdon.

Langdon was a founding director of the prize-winning architecture firm Regional Associates, which has offices in London and Melbourne.

He grew up in Tasmania and worked on projects around the world, including in Uganda and Rwanda.

Following a meeting in the Cabinet Office on Monday, thedefence secretary, Philip Hammond, said final confirmation on the sixth casualty’s nationality was still needed and warned the British death toll could rise
theguardian.

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