A British man feared he was killed in a terrorist attack in Mozambique has been described as a “beloved son, brother, uncle and friend”.
Philip Mawer is among those believed killed in the March 24 attack on the city of Palma carried out by ISIS-affiliated insurgents.
A statement from his employer RA International on behalf of his family said: “Philip was a lively, sociable character who had something of the lovable villain about him.
“He had a wonderful sense of humor and could count on him to take on the most difficult situations with humor.
“The family is devastated by the loss and is greatly missed. We would like to acknowledge the support we have received from friends, family and Philip’s colleagues at a time of tremendous agony.”
It is believed that Mr Mawer died trying to escape the siege of the Amarula Hotel.
He had been in the East African country for 18 months, overseeing the construction of camps for workers involved in a large natural gas project.
The family declaration states: “It was in the nature of his chosen occupation 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.
“Early in his life, Philip overcame a period of compulsive gambling and wrote the book” Overcoming Problem Gambling: A Guide for Problematic and Compulsive Gamblers, “using his personal experiences to help others overcome this destructive addiction.
“He often received thank-you letters from people the book helped.”
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The family said they were waiting for formal identification of the body to be completed.
The insurgents are believed to have killed more than 2,000 people and displaced an estimated 670,000 during three years of fighting in the East African nation.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office responded to the news that a job had been found: “We are deeply concerned about this latest development.
“We are in close contact with the family and are working with the Mozambique government and the Met police to confirm further details.
“We stand with the people of Mozambique against the threat of terrorism and are working with the government to restore peace and stability.”