The Evening Standard story – 'Selfless' UK medic shot by Taliban

Bless Dr Woo RIP

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“‘Selfless’ UK medic shot by Taliban”

A British medic who was shot by the Taliban after delivering medical aid to a remote area of north-eastern Afghanistan has been described as “loving” and “selfless”.

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 on Friday next to three bullet-riddled four-wheel drive vehicles, Afghan police said.

The family of Dr Woo, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said they had been advised not to pay tribute to her because her body had not yet been identified. A female relative said: “It is a terrible time for the family. We are waiting to be told what is happening.”

In an online charity forum called Bridge Afghanistan, which Dr Woo was actively involved in, colleagues said they were “deeply disturbed” by the news.

Dr Woo’s friend Firuz Rahimi wrote: “We have just heard the terrible news from Afghanistan. Unfortunately Karen was part of the group that were killed whilst delivering aid and medical care in Nuristan of Afghanistan. We are distressed and deeply disturbed by [this] sad news.”

One woman called Amanda added: “The world has lost a true humanitarian with Karen’s death. Her spirit will live on with us as we were lucky enough to know her. I implore everyone to carry forward her tremendous legacy of love, ambition and selflessness.”

Bill Mills said: “We knew Karen as a student and a vibrant, loving caring person.”

One of her friends, Phillip French, told Channel 4 News that Dr Woo was due to attend a fundraising dinner in the UK on Monday. He said: “It’s still sinking in really. She knew there were dangers but felt it was a relatively safe area and she was determined to go. This is just a huge shock. As a person she had a contagious energy in everything she did. She was the life and soul of the party.”

Dr Woo’s medical convoy was travelling through Badakhshan 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.

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