A British woman who previously ran a restaurant in Edinburgh was one of the foreign nationals killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Jeni Ayris, 46, was among 12 people killed when the female insurgent drove a car bomb into the minibus carrying a large contingent of people employed by a South African charter airline firm in Kabul.
Ayris, who was born in Durban, South Africa but held dual British and South African citizenship, was due to fly home to Edinburgh later this week. She ran the Ndebele African restaurant and deli in the Scottish capital until 2008. It is reputed to have included Nelson Mandela among its customers
Friends said Ayris was planning to see them this weekend. With her sister also based in Edinburgh, Ayris had lived in the city for 17 years and had a wide circle of friends. Richard Kellett, from Mull, told the BBC: "Her sister received a call from her employers on Tuesday morning but we have heard nothing more since.
"I was meant to meet her this Sunday in Edinburgh, but obviously that won't happen now. Her sister was told it was a roadside bomb, but it looked like a suicide attack.
"I believe they were on their way back from the airport to their compound when the attack happened. It has come as a real shock. I spoke to her about the risks, but this looked like an organised attack, which made it harder to plan for it."
Another friend, Michael Hodgson, 39, from the Netherlands, said: "Jeni Ayris was a warm, kind and generous person with an everyday objective of helping everyone she met.
"She had a positive boundless energy which rubbed off on everyone, making her loss all the more hurtful.
"Jeni leaves behind a sister who is her only family as well as a huge number of friends across Scotland and the world who are all absolutely devastated by her tragic death.
Ayris is believed to have been customer relations manager for the ACS/BalmOral charter company, which lost eight staff in the attack and specialises in working in difficult locations.
Along with three Afghans killed in the attack, including an eight-year-old girl, the ninth foreign victim was identified by officials for the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, as someone from Kyrgyzstan.
Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the Islamist militant group Hizb-i-Islami, which has links to the Taliban. The group said it was carried out by a 22-year-old woman named Fatima.
It said the bombing was in retaliation for the short anti-Muslim film posted on YouTube which appeared to ridicule the prophet Muhammad, and has provoked anti-western protests and violence from north Africa to south-east Asia.
"We are in the process of notifying the next of kin and our main focus now remains with the families of the innocent victims, who tragically lost their lives," an ACS/BalmOral company spokesperson said.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with them, and all our staff remaining in Kabul. It's a sad and difficult time we face, and we would appreciate and appeal to your humanity in allowing us all, and especially the families, to have the time to grieve the loss of loved ones."
Tags: Occupation, of, Afghanistan, CIA, US, NATO, Waziristan, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
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