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Chicago-area woman killed in attack in Afghanistan

Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013 8:00 a.m. CST

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois woman has been identified as one of six Americans killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan.

Anne Smedinghoff, a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, died Saturday during a mission to donate books to students in southern Zabul province.

The 25-year-old from the Chicago area is the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya.

She aided Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit to Afghanistan last month. On Sunday, Kerry described Smedinghoff as "vivacious, smart" and "capable."

Smedinghoff's parents said in an emailed statement to The Washington Post that their daughter "particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work directly with the Afghan people."

Smedinghoff previously served in Venezuela.

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