14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Eight-Year-Old British Girl Murdered In Nairobi Mall Siege: Father Says Religion Being Used As An 'Excuse To Kill People'

An image grab taken from AFP TV shows civilians taking cover following an attack by masked gunmen in a shopping mall in Nairobi on September 21, 2013. Masked attackers stormed the packed upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi, spraying gunfire and killing at least 59 people and wounding 175 before holing themselves up in the complex. AFP PHOTO/AFPTV/NICHOLE SOBECKI (Photo credit should read Nichole Sobecki/AFP/Getty Images)

The father of an eight-year-old girl murdered by terrorists in the Nairobi shopping mall siege has said she and his wife were killed by 'animals'.

Louis Bawa, 43, spoke out after his wife, Zahira Bawa, 41, and daughter Jennah were named amongst the British victims of the atrocity.

He said the news of his Muslim daughter and wife's death was a 'heart stopping' moment.

Jennah and Kenyan-born Zahira were two of some 60 people killed in the three-day siege at the Westgate mall.

Speaking to the BBC, the Warwickshire-based businessman said he had spoken to his wife and daughter on Friday, but had not had opportunity to catch-up after that.

"This time they didn't come home," he said.

The distraught dad said 'religion' was being used 'as an excuse to kill people'. Jennah's heartbroken grandmother said the whole family had been left 'devastated'.

Shakuntna Bawa, 63, told the Mail: "We knew that they were missing but we heard yesterday that unfortunately they had been killed. I feel pretty shocked - the whole family is in shock. I can't say anything else at the moment. It's very sad - but what can we do?'"

"My sister saw Louis speaking on television and rang me. At that stage we still believed there was a chance Jennah and Zahira might be okay because there were a lot of people missing. But the police have confirmed to Louis that his wife and daughter were killed. He tried to go down to the morgue to identify their bodies but there were guards there."

She said that she had not seen little Jennah for five years because the family had moved to Kenya, but described her as 'beautiful'.

British-Australian architect Ross Langdon and his heavily-pregnant partner Elif Yavuz, were also shot dead during the siege.