UK & World News
Kenya Attack: Briton Died Trying To Save Kids
A British man has been hailed a hero after he was killed in the Kenyan shopping mall massacre while trying to save children taking part in a TV cooking competition.
Mitul Shah, 38, offered himself as a hostage to help 33 youngsters escape from the rooftop of the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi, where the programme was being filmed.
His bravery is thought to have given the young victims precious seconds to flee and hide, although he was unable to convince the gunmen to agree to his offer and he and a number of children were shot dead.
The father-of-one's funeral was held in Nairobi on Thursday, with a notice posted on his company's Facebook page referring to him as a "hero and a star".
Mr Shah, who was head of sales and marketing at Bidco Oil, a Kenyan cooking oil firm sponsoring the food event, died on Saturday, the first day of the atrocity.
Dipak Shah, a director of the company, said colleagues were feeling a "profound sense of loss" and offering their sympathies to his wife Rupal and two-year-old daughter Sarai.
"We are in constant contact with them. They are devastated, as are we all. He was there with the kids, as a representative as we were a sponsor of the programme," he told the Evening Standard.
"He was trying to negotiate the freedom of the children in order for him to be taken as a hostage. Some had managed to save their lives but unfortunately he, and others, did not.
"It was a heroic and brave act - a true reflection of his soul. He was a wonderful person who always went out of his way, beyond the call of duty, to help others."
Mr Shah, who was born in London, joined Bidco as a trainee and is said to have played a "pivotal role" in the firm's success.
Colleague Sandip Dave, writing on a tribute blog for Mr Shah, said he was "a hero" who had battled serious illness.
"In the past, due to his willpower and the prayers of all his well wishers, he fought a dire illness and regained his health and was back stronger and more determined in his goals for the company," he said.
The al Qaeda-linked Somali rebel group al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 67 people, including five Britons.
Earlier, a car believed to have been used by the terrorists was recovered from outside the shopping centre, as forensic teams continued their examination of the bullet-scarred and scorched crime scene.