The family of Kenya terrorism victims Zahira and Jenah Bawa have spoken of their shock at hearing the news on Saturday night.
Speaking at her Leamington home Shakautla Bawa, 63, great aunt to Jenah, eight, and aunt to Jenah’s father and Zahira’s husband Louis - all formerly of Leam Terrace - said they were told the terrible news by a friend after they had seen reports of the incident.
Zahira and Jenah, were killed during the ongoing terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi.
Shakautla said: “Louis’ friend told us they’re both gone.
“Whoever knew them is shocked, everybody is shocked.”
Jenah was born in Leamington but moved to Kenya with her mother and father several years ago.
Zahira and Jenah had visited the shopping centre on Saturday when suspected members of the al-Shabab militant group attacked.
The official death toll stands at 62 - of whom six are thought to be British - with more than 170 injured.
In an interview with a national newspaper Louis, who had waited outside the shopping centre on Sunday for news of his family, said his wife and daughter were both Muslims but were killed by “animals” who were “using religion as an excuse to kill people”.
He added; “They’re saying that they were targeting certain people, but they were targeting anyone”.
Louis, who took a job as the chief executive of a marketing company in Dubai and began commuting to his family in Nairobi at weekends, said he last spoke to Zahira and Jenah on Friday but had no chance to catch up with them on Saturday morning.
He said: “The last time I spoke to them was on Friday evening, I didn’t get a chance to catch up with them on Saturday morning. They were going to Westgate to do what they always did, grocery shopping. This time they didn’t come home.
“I think our last conversation was about just normal things, school fees, something like that, I can’t remember. “I don’t know exactly what happened but it looks to me that they were gunned down ... they were just shot.”
Kenyan officials say they are in the final stages of bringing to an end the stand-off.
Explosions and heavy gunfire were reported earlier as soldiers stormed the Westgate shopping complex.
Three “terrorists” were killed and soldiers are continuing to comb the building floor by floor “looking for anyone left behind”, officials said.
The Kenyan Red Cross has said that 63 people remain unaccounted for.