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Kenya attack: Couple expecting child among victims

Ross Langdon and his Dutch girlfriend, Elif Yavuz, who was expecting their baby, are among the victims of the terrorists. Picture: AP

Ross Langdon and his Dutch girlfriend, Elif Yavuz, who was expecting their baby, are among the victims of the terrorists. Picture: AP

  • by GARETH ROSE
 

AN ARCHITECT who had designed an Aids hospital in Nairobi and a mother and daughter were among six Britons to have lost their lives in the Kenya terror atrocity.

Ross Langdon, who had dual British-Australian nationality, having been born in Tasmania, was killed alongside his pregnant partner Elif Yavuz. She was due to give birth to their first child in two weeks.

Relatives of Zahira Bawa, 41, and her daughter Jenah, confirmed they were also among the dead.

Jenah’s grandmother Shakuntna Bawa, said: “We knew that they were missing but we heard yesterday that unfortunately they had been killed. The whole family is in shock.”

The dead woman’s husband, Louis Bawa, flew out to Kenya when he was unable to contact his wife.

In a heartbreaking interview outside the shopping centre before the deaths were confirmed, he had spoken of his hopes that they would escape alive.

“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,” he said.

Mr Langdon had worked on projects in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, and most recently, pro bono, on an Aids hospital in Kenya.

Ms Yavuz, from the Netherlands, had a PhD from Harvard after studying malaria in Africa, and was working on the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

The couple were described as “agents of change in the best sense” whose deaths were a “global loss” as well as a personal tragedy.

The Foreign Office has not named any of the victims, except to say three were British and one was of dual British-Australian nationality – understood to be Mr Langdon.

According to the Kenyan government, 62 people have died – although Kenya’s Red Cross reported 68 – and more than 175 have been injured, including many children.

Mr Langdon was a director at Regional Associates’. In a statement, the company said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Ross Langdon and his partner Elif Yavuz.

“Profoundly talented and full of life, Ross enriched the lives of all those around him. Ross’s leadership on projects throughout East Africa was inspirational, and he will be will be very, very sorely missed by us all.”

Tasmanian sculptor Peter Adams said his death was a “major global loss”. Writing on his blog, Mr Adams described the architect as a “much loved local lad”, adding: “He was a colleague and friend who went out into the world as an architect doing wondrous things.”

He described how the architect was about to start on a £22 million museum centred on the earliest fossil record of humanoids walking – two adults and a child.

“Ironic, because equally tragic is that his partner Elif Yavuz and their unborn child (due in two weeks) were also killed in the massacre,” Mr Adams wrote.

“When they visited me a year and a half ago, Elif had just completed a PhD at Harvard; last month she was personally visited by Bill Clinton in her role with the Clinton Health Access Initiative based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.”

 
 
 

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