Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kerry consoles family of Foreign Service officer killed in Afghanistan

CHICAGO — Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday with the family of a 25-year-old Foreign Service officer who was killed by a suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan nine days earlier.

Kerry's meeting with the family of Anne Smedinghoff was closed to reporters, and the State Department declined to offer details of the private talks.

The meeting provided Kerry an opportunity to express a personal sense of loss to Smedinghoff's parents, with whom Kerry spoke by phone when he first learned of the death shortly after it occurred April 6.

Kerry met Smedinghoff a week before her death, when she was assigned to accompany him on a brief visit to Afghanistan, and he eulogized her several times during a 10-day trip to Jerusalem, London, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. It was on his return from Tokyo to Washington that Kerry made a previously unscheduled stop in Chicago to meet with Smedinghoff's family.

Smedinghoff, an assistant press officer in the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, died when a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside a U.S. base in Qalat, Afghanistan, as she and perhaps a dozen other people were assembling for a ceremony to mark the donation of children's books to a school. The attack also killed three U.S. service members, a U.S. civilian who worked for the Defense Department and an Afghan doctor.

Meanwhile, a State Department spokesman said that while the bombing was being investigated by the FBI, the Defense Department and State Department Diplomatic Security, there would be no administrative review board convened to investigate its circumstances. A review panel that looked into the events leading up to the death in Libya of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens concluded that department middle managers and poor communications were responsible for the security lapses that led to his death.

Spokesman Patrick Ventrell said U.S. law specifically exempts events in Iraq and Afghanistan from such an investigation.

Kerry consoles family of Foreign Service officer killed in Afghanistan 04/15/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 15, 2013 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.