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Body of British aid worker killed in Afghanistan is repatriated

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Woo's body was repatriated to England on Monday
  • She was one of 10 aid workers fatally shot in northeast Afghanistan
  • The general surgeon was to have married this week

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The body of Dr. Karen Woo, one of 10 volunteer medical aid workers fatally shot August 5 in the remote mountains of northeast Afghanistan, was repatriated Monday from Kabul, the British Foreign Office said.

"We would like to thank all those who have expressed sympathy and support over the past week -- the public reaction has been overwhelming and generous," the 36-year-old physician's family said in a statement.

"However, we would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize that while Karen was the only U.K. national involved in this incident, she was part of a team of brave and selfless people who were determined to make a difference, and the sacrifice of the whole group and their families should be recognized. Our sincere condolences go out to those families and friends of the other victims, who we are sure have been as deeply affected as us."

The British Airways plane carrying Woo's body landed at 2 p.m. at London's Heathrow Airport.

"We now ask to be given privacy and space to grieve in peace while we undergo formalities and make the necessary arrangements," the family's statement said. Woo's funeral will be private, it said.

The general surgeon joined the Nuristan Eye Camp as the team's doctor to help promote maternal health care in Nuristan communities. She was to have married August 20.

"She was an incredible person who obviously touched many lives," her fiance Mark "Paddy" Smith told CNN last week. "She touched mine particularly. And I'm very thankful for that and I could feel that strength that she was sending me."

Six Americans, a German and two Afghans were also killed.