Foreign Service officer killed in Afghanistan

Foreign Service officer killed in Afghanistan

A State Department foreign-service officer was among the six Americans killed Saturday in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber who drove a car laden with explosives into a military convoy. 

"Our State Department family is grieving over the loss of one of our own, an exceptional young Foreign Service Officer, killed today in an IED attack in Zabul province, along with service members, a Department of Defense civilian, and Afghan civilians," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a Saturday statement.

Four other State Department personnel were injured, one critically, Kerry said. The officials along with a group of Afghans were on their way to donate books to a school in the provincial capital of Qalat when the attack occurred.

The State Department did not release the name of the foreign service officer killed but said that she had met Kerry during Kerry’s trip to Kabul only last week.

"She was everything a Foreign Service Officer should be: smart, capable, eager to serve, and deeply committed to our country and the difference she was making for the Afghan people," Kerry said.  She tragically gave her young life working to give young Afghans the opportunity to have a better future."

Three U.S. military personnel were killed in the attack, along with two U.S. civilians and one Afghan doctor. Another U.S. civilian was killed in a separate attack in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, the AP reported. A Taliban spokesman claimed credit for the attack in an interview with the AP. 

Kerry has been in touch with the White House, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, his statement said. Kerry also spoke with the deceased foreign service officer’s parents.

"We know too well the risks in the world today for all of our State Department personnel at home and around the world – Foreign Service, Civil Service, political appointees, locally employed staff and so many others," Kerry said. "Every day, we honor their courage and are grateful for their sacrifices, and today we do so with great sadness."

UPDATE: Speaking in Turkey Sunday, Kerry identified the  foreign service officer as 25 year old Anne Smedinghoff.