Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Six Americans are killed in a bombing in Afghanistan, including a diplomat who graduated from Johns Hopkins University.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the attack that is hitting very close to home.
The Taliban is now claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing that killed six Americans, including 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff, a member of the State Department and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.
“We are so proud of Anne. She did so many great things. She was a hard worker. She was energetic. She was very devoted to the work she was doing,” said the victim’s father, Tom.
Her parents said she died doing something she loved, something she devoted her entire studies to while in Baltimore.
“She was just one of the many people who answered the call to serve our country in a myriad of ways, and for that we are forever grateful,” her mom, Mary Beth.
The attack happened in Qalat. Smedinghoff was part of a convoy taking books to a school for Afghan children. The suicide bomber drove a vehicle full of explosives into their convoy. Smedinghoff, three U.S. troops, and an American doctor and civilian worker died.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who met Smedinghoff during his visit in Afghanistan, calls the news difficult.
“A brave American was determined to lighten the world of learning through books written in the native tongue of the students that she never met,” Kerry said.
The 2009 Johns Hopkins graduate joined the U.S Foreign Service straight out of college and volunteered in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
“It’s obviously really upsetting that a student trying to do such good work was taken away so early,” a JHU student said.
In an email to students and faculty, Johns Hopkins University president Ronald Daniels says “to Anne’s parents, family and her many friends, especially her Johns Hopkins friends, may they all be consoled by their memories of her vibrant, valuable, well-lived life.”
Smedinghoff grew up outside of Chicago. White ribbons hug trees in her memory. American flags line the street in her honor.
Anne Smedinghoff is the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Another Foreign Service officer remains in critical condition.
Funeral arrangements are pending.