Body of aid worker slain in northern Afghanistan returns to Britain in private ceremony

LONDON (AP) — The family of a British medical worker killed in northern Afghanistan with nine colleagues from an aid charity praised their daughter's bravery Monday, as her body was flown back to the U.K.

Dr. Karen Woo, 36, was among 10 members of a medical team shot and killed by militants on Aug. 5 as they were returning from providing health care in remote villages in northern Afghanistan. She was due to get married this month.

The victims, who also included six Americans, a German and two Afghans, were working for the International Assistance Mission, which is registered as a nonprofit Christian organization but said it does not proselytize.

Britain's Foreign Office confirmed Woo's body was flown to London's Heathrow airport Monday, and said the repatriation had been private at the family's request.

"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," Woo's family said in a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The family said that Woo 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."

Ten members of the aid team were killed in an ambush in the northern Badakhshan province as they made a return trip to Kabul from carrying out medical work.

Woo, the lone Briton among the dead, had given up her job with a private clinic in London to work in Afghanistan.

In their statement, her family confirmed they planned a private funeral.

"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 statement read.