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Eighth Briton killed in Sri Lanka blasts ‘brought people together’

Lorraine Campbell ‘epitomised the qualities she lived by’, her family said.

Lorraine Campbell with her husband Neil Evans (Handout/PA)
Lorraine Campbell with her husband Neil Evans (Handout/PA)

The eighth Briton killed in the Sri Lankan terror attack has been described by her husband as “a conduit for bringing people together to both make things happen, and make them better”.

Lorraine Campbell, 55, was in Colombo on a work trip when she was among at least 359 people killed by a series of blasts at churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

The IT specialist, originally from Manchester but who had been living in Dubai with her husband whom she married recently, was in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel when it was attacked.

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(PA Graphics)

Her husband Neil Evans said: “Lorraine was a real tour de force. She epitomised the qualities she lived by, and was a conduit for bringing people together to both make things happen, and make them better.

“I’ve lost my best friend in the world for all the adventures we shared and planned for the future.

“I, Lorraine’s family and friends are in a state of disbelief and grief for what has happened and as such, would respectfully ask that our privacy at this difficult time is respected.”

A statement from Ms Campbell’s family added: “Lorraine, known to most people as Loz, was a woman who embraced life to the full, and meant so much to so many people and there will forever be an enormous void that will never now be filled.

“Loz was a wife, mother, sister and aunt, and a close friend to so many people, having risen through the ranks of the IT world, working in multiple cities in the UK and abroad.”

Her son, Mark Campbell, told Sky News his mother was “like a cockroach” in her steely resolve to survive.

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A priest conducts religious rituals during a mass burial for victims in Negombo (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)

He said: “I guess we kind of knew (she had died) but there was that background thought with my mum that she was like a cockroach – you couldn’t kill her, couldn’t keep her down, couldn’t squash her – she always found a way.

“In a lot of our minds, (we thought) she had somehow made it.”

Police in Colombo have detained 58 people in connection with the bombings, claimed by the Islamic State group, while specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command have been sent to the country to support the bereaved and Scotland Yard has asked for images or video taken during the attacks.

One of the bombers behind the attack was reportedly former UK student Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed.

He is understood to have studied in the south east of England at some point between 2006 and 2007 – and later did a postgraduate course in Australia, before returning to settle in Sri Lanka.

Mohamed’s identity was reported by Sky News after officials in Sri Lanka claimed one of the suicide bombers may have studied in the UK.

Many of the attackers came from well-educated, middle-class families, and had been part of a pair of little-known extremist Muslim groups, Sri Lanka’s junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene told reporters.

He added at least one had a law degree and some may have studied in the UK and Australia.

Mr Wijewardene distanced himself from suggestions that the bombings were revenge for the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, which killed 50 people.

He said there was no direct evidence to say the attacks were retaliatory.

In addition to the eight Britons who died, a locally employed British Council employee was “in hospital with his wife, both with serious injuries”, said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Among the British victims were Anita Nicholson, her son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, who died when one of seven suicide bombers struck as they ate breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo.

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Ben Nicholson with wife Anita, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11 (Family handout/PA)

Londoner Matthew Linsey’s daughter Amelie, 15, and son Daniel, 19, were killed in the same blast on the final day of their holiday.

GP Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop, a retired firefighter, from Manchester, died in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel bombing.

PA

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