THE family of a Taunton man killed by Islamist terrorists in Mozambique have issued a statement following the loss of a man with "something of the lovable rogue about him".

The body of a man believed to be Philip James Mawer, who was 59, was handed over to three SAS troops who had gone to search for him after he went missing.

Mr Mawer, who was educated at Queen's College between 1972 and 1981, was killed after trying to escape from te siege by ISIS-linked insurgents at the Amarula Hotel, near Palma.

Yeovil Express:

His family have issued the following statement: "The disappearance of Philip Mawer, our much-loved son, brother, uncle and friend, during the fighting in Northern Mozambique has been widely reported in the press.

"Although a 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.

"We understand that a formal process of identification is necessary before we can know for sure whether the body is Philip’s.

"It appears that Philip died while trying to escape from the siege by ISIS-linked insurgents of the Amarula Hotel near Palma.

"Philip was 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.

"Philip had been in Mozambique for 18 months, working as country manager for RA International and was managing the building of camps for workers involved in the large natural gas project there.

"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 The Yemen.

"His ability to get things done in the most hostile of environments made him a valued colleague.

"Earlier in his life Philip 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 this destructive addiction.

"He would often receive letters of thanks from people helped by the book.

"The family asks for privacy at this difficult time."

Dr Lorraine Earps, headteacher of Queen's College, said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this news.

"The thoughts and prayers of the Queen's community are with Phil's family and friends at this most tragic time." 

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