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Afghan death medic planned to marry

A British medic who was killed by the Taliban after delivering medical aid to remote area of north-eastern Afghanistan was due to get married, it has been revealed.

Dr Karen Woo is understood to be among 10 aid workers shot by gunmen in an ambush in Kuran Wa Munjan district of Badakhshan province.

The bodies of Dr Woo, six Americans, a female German and two Afghan interpreters were found next to three bullet-riddled four-wheel drive vehicles, Afghan police said.

She was set to return to the UK to marry her fiance Mark "Paddy" Smith, it was reported. Her brother David Woo said that the couple planned to live in the UK and start a family together.

He said: "She was a lovely, vibrant and energetic woman, determined to get the most out of life. She and Mark just clicked. She said he was the one. Their long-term plan was to come back to the UK and start a family together."

The couple met in November last year. Speaking from Afghanistan, Mr Smith said: "It was one of those crazy relationships. Nothing is normal in Afghanistan, but when we met it just made sense. You know when something is right and this was just right."

Dr Woo co-founded an charity called Bridge Afghanistan and raised thousands of pounds for emergency provisions for flood victims, education projects and medical supplies. Co-founder and friend Firuz Rahimi said: "She was a fantastic person and she directed her enthusiasm to her work. She knew there were risks but she wanted to use her profession to do good... I hope she will be remembered for the good work she did."

Dr Woo's medical convoy was travelling through Badakhshan towards Kabul after spending three weeks in the mountainous terrain of Nuristan where the medical team were delivering medical care and supplies to the people living there.

Local police said about 10 gunmen robbed the group and killed them one-by-one. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killings, with a spokesman saying they killed the foreigners because they were "spying for the Americans" and "preaching Christianity".

Before she started the three-week aid mission Dr Woo posted a blog on the Bridge Afghanistan website. She said: "The expedition will require a lot of physical and mental resolve and will not be without risk but ultimately, I believe that the provision of medical treatment is of fundamental importance and that the effort is worth it in order to assist those that need it most."

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