UK & World News
Edinburgh Woman Killed In Kabul Suicide Blast
A woman from Edinburgh, who was due to return home this week, has been killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan.
Jeni Ayris, 46, who was born in South Africa but held a British passport, was among 12 people killed in Kabul on Tuesday.
She was on a minibus transporting foreign workers near the airport when a woman drove a car full of explosives into it.
Afghan militant group Hezb-e-Islami said it was behind the attack, claiming it was a response to the anti-Islam video produced in th US that has sparked protests across the Muslim world.
Ms Ayris, originally from Durban, had been in Kabul for 14 months where she worked as a customer relations manager for South African aviation company ACS/BalmOral. She was due to return to Edinburgh on Friday.
Ms Ayris, who had dual citizenship, lived in the Morningside area of the Scottish capital for about 17 years after leaving South Africa.
She was well-known as the former owner of the Ndebele coffee shop in the city's Tollcross, once serving Nelson Mandela when he visited the city.
Her sister Patricia also lives in Edinburgh and is said to be her only family.
Michael Hodgson, 39, who is from the Netherlands, said he was a close friend of Ms Ayris.
"Jeni Ayris was a warm, kind and generous person with an everyday objective of helping everyone she met," he said.
"She had a positive boundless energy which rubbed off on everyone, making her loss all the more hurtful."
Ms Ayris was responsible for the safe air travel of non-governmental organisations throughout Afghanistan.
Eight South Africans, who died in the bombings, are believed to have worked for the aviation company. Four others who were killed are understood to have been Afghan citizens while 11 bystanders were also injured.
In a statement, ACS/BalmOral said: "ACS/BalmOral is deeply saddened by the loss of the lives of some of our staff in Kabul, Afghanistan, due to a suicide bombing attack that occurred on September 18."
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm that one of those killed in the attack was a dual South African and British national.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the families of all those involved."