01 Apr Briton missing after Mozambique hotel terror attack feared dead as body found | World News
A body has been found matching the description of Briton Philip Mawer, who went missing after a terror attack on a northern Mozambique town.
Islamic State has said it was behind the ambush in Palma, in which dozens of people, including foreign workers, were killed.
British contractor Mr Mawer had been in the Amarula Hotel in the town at the time, and had joined a convoy of vehicles attempting to flee.
However, it is now believed he was killed when the convoy was attacked.
A statement issued on behalf of the Mawer family said: “Although formal identification has yet to be completed, we have now been made aware that the body of a man matching Philip’s description has been found.”
It described Mr Mawer as “our much-loved son, brother, uncle, and friend – an ebullient, outgoing character who had something of the lovable rogue about him”.
“He had a wonderful sense of humour and could be relied on to find a humorous take on the most difficult of situations.
“The family is devastated by the loss and he will be sadly missed.
“We would like to acknowledge the support we have received from friends, family, and Philip’s colleagues in a period of tremendous anguish.”
The statement added there was a formal process of identification that needed to take place “before we can know for sure whether the body is Philip’s”.
Islamic State fighters say they have taken overall control of the town after days of clashes with security forces, and claim to have killed at least 55 people including soldiers, destroyed buildings and seized vehicles.
Witnesses described seeing rampaging fighters and bodies in the streets, some of them having been beheaded.
Mr Mawer, a Bournemouth University graduate, was working as a business development manager for the company RA International.
He had been in Mozambique for 18 months and was managing the building of camps for workers involved in a large natural gas project there.
A statement from RA International said: “It was the nature of his chosen line of work to be in the more dangerous corners of the world and Philip’s career had previously taken him to Somalia, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.
“His ability to get things done in the most hostile of environments made him a valued colleague.”
Earlier in his life, Mr Mawer overcame a period of compulsive gambling and went on to write the book “Overcoming Problem Gambling: A Guide for Problem and Compulsive Gamblers,” using his personal experience to help others to overcome addiction.
RA International said he would often receive letters of thanks from people helped by the book.