Anne Smedinghoff: Diplomat Killed Doing What She Loved, Parents Say

Monday, 08 Apr 2013 11:26 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old Foreign Service Officer, was among five Americans killed in an attack over the weekend in southern Afghanistan.

The diplomat, who was described as "vivacious" and "capable" by Secretary of State John Kerry, was working as a press officer for the U.S. embassy in Kabul, according to ABC News.

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Three American military service personnel were also killed in the attack along with one Defense Department civilian worker. Ten others were injured in the attack, four of which were State Department officials, with at least one sustaining critical injuries.

At the time of the attack, Smedinghoff was assisting Afghan journalists cover a U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team donating math and science books to a school in the Qalat, Zabul province.

"The world lost a truly beautiful soul," Tom and Mary Beth Smedinghoff said in a statement. "Anne absolutely loved the work she was doing" as a press officer at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, they said.

"We are consoled knowing that she was doing what she loved, and that she was serving her country by helping to make a positive difference in the world," her parents said. "She was such a wonderful woman — strong, intelligent, independent, and loving. Annie, you left us too soon; we love you and we're going to miss you so much."

Smedinghoff volunteered to serve in Afghanistan and arrived in the country last July. She had spent three years in the Foreign Service before her death.

Smedinghoff's death was described as the "stealing of a young life," by Secretary of State John Kerry, who was traveling in Istanbul over the weekend.

During his recent trip to Afghanistan, Kerry met Smedinghoff, who was tasked with coordinating his trip within the country.

"I remember her as vivacious, smart, capable, often chosen by the ambassador for her capabilities," Kerry said. Regarding the phone call Kerry placed to Smedinghoff's parents following her death, he added, "there is no harder conversation to have in the world."

The attack consisted of two separate bombings.

The first bomb was placed in a car that was detonated by a remote device, effectively stopping the convoy.

The second bomb was contained within a suicide vest, with the terrorist blowing himself up while the convoy was stopped, inflicting greater casualties.

The school event had been announced one day prior according to Afghan sources, which might have given terrorists sufficient time to plan out the attack.

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Related stories:

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Afghan Taliban Kill 44 in Suicide Attack on Courtroom



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