Tributes paid to Kabul bomb victim

Jeni Ayris, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

Jeni Ayris, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

First published in National News © by

Tributes have been paid to a "warm, kind and generous" British woman who was among 12 people killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Friends told how Jeni Ayris, 46, was due to fly home to Edinburgh this weekend after spending 14 months working in the country but died when a female insurgent drove a car full of explosives into a minibus carrying mainly foreign workers in the capital, Kabul.

Ms Ayris, born in Durban, South Africa, moved to the Scottish capital 17 years ago and held dual citizenship with the UK, travelling to Afghanistan on a British passport.

She was working as a customer relations manager for South African aviation company ACS/BalmOral.

A close friend, 39-year-old Michael Hodgson, from the Netherlands, said he arranged to meet with Ms Ayris and other friends in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Ms Ayris previously ran Ndebele, a South Africa-themed cafe, in Tollcross, Edinburgh, for about a decade.

Her sister Patricia also lives in the city and is said to be her only family, although hundreds of people have posted tributes, memories and photographs on a Facebook page dedicated to Ms Ayris.

Mr Hodgson said: "Jeni was highly respected and valued in her job as a manager in the aviation sector where she was responsible for the safe air travel of NGOs (non-governmental organisations) throughout Afghanistan, and her contribution was her practical way of helping Afghanistan move forward."

Twelve people were killed in the bombing near the airport in Kabul, eight of whom are believed to have worked for ACS/BalmOral and the other four are understood to have been Afghan citizens; 11 bystanders were also injured.

Islamist militant group Hizb-i-Islami claimed the attack, saying it was carried out by a 22-year-old woman named Fatima in response to an anti-Islam video clip ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed which was posted on the internet last week.


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