Mother, two children among eight British victims of Sri Lanka attacks

More British, Spanish, Portuguese, Swiss and Turkish are some of the 32 foreigners killed

A Sri Lankan Police officer inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo on Sunday. Anita Nicholson and her children Alex (14) and Annabel (11) were having breakfast when the suicide bomb attack occured.  Photograph: Chamila Karunarathne/AP

A Sri Lankan Police officer inspects a blast spot at the Shangri-la hotel in Colombo on Sunday. Anita Nicholson and her children Alex (14) and Annabel (11) were having breakfast when the suicide bomb attack occured. Photograph: Chamila Karunarathne/AP

 

A lawyer and her two children were among the eight British victims of the Sri Lanka terror attacks, her husband has confirmed.

Anita Nicholson, son Alex (14) and daughter Annabel (11) were having breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo when one of the seven suicide bombers struck.

Mrs Nicholson’s husband Ben confirmed they had been killed in a statement on Monday afternoon.

He said: “Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children.

“Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood.

“They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with.”

Local media reported Mr Nicholson desperately searching for his family after the blast.

He thanked Sri Lankan medics, the British High Commission and holiday company Adhvan Tours for helping him over the past 36 hours.

He said all three would have died instantly with no pain.

The family had been visiting Sri Lanka for a holiday from their home in Singapore. Mrs Nicholson worked for mining and metals company Anglo American, while Mr Nicholson is a partner with law firm Kennedys.

Also among the dead were retired firefighter Bill Harrop and his partner Sally Bradley from Manchester.

The couple had been holidaying in the country, but it is not yet known in which blast they were killed.

Assistant county fire office Dave Keelan of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service paid tribute to his former colleague on Monday evening.

He said: “Bill served here for 30 years, retiring at the end of 2012. He was a much loved and respected colleague and friend. He will be greatly missed.”

Swiss, Spanish, Portuguese

Two Swiss citizens were also killed in the attacks, a spokeswoman for Switzerland’s federal department of foreign affairs (FDFA) said on Monday.

One of the individuals also held citizenship of a second country, the spokeswoman said. A third member of the family, who did not have Swiss citizenship, also died in the explosions, she added.

The Sri Lankan parents of a Swiss-Sri Lankan family also died in the attacks, she said.

“The FDFA is in contact with relatives and supports them with consular protection,” the spokeswoman said.

She did not provide any more details about the victims.

Additionally,Spain’s foreign ministry has said that two Spanish citizens were killed in Sunday’s bombings, without providing further details.

The mayor of the town of Pontecesures in the northern Galicia region told the Spanish news agency EFE that the dead were a couple aged 31 and 32 who had been on holiday on the island.

A 30-year-old man from neighbouring Portugal who was honeymooning in Sri Lanka was also killed, Portuguese officials said.

The devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed by authorities on militants with foreign links, killed 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

Most of the dead and wounded were Sri Lankans although Sri Lankan government officials said 32 foreigners were killed, including British, US, Australian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish and Dutch nationals. – PA and Reuters