Nation

Kerry visits family of slain US diplomat

Secretary of State John F. Kerry debarked at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Monday.
Reuters/Pool
Secretary of State John F. Kerry debarked at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Monday.

CHICAGO — Secretary of State John F. Kerry stopped in Chicago on Monday to visit the parents of the American diplomat who was killed while delivering textbooks in southern Afghanistan earlier this month.

Kerry made the detour on his way back from Japan, the final leg of a 10-day overseas tour which started with tragedy when he learned of Anne Smedinghoff’s death while readying to depart for Turkey on April 6.

At the time, a clearly affected Kerry contacted Smedinghoff’s parents, Tom and Mary Beth, from Andrews Air Force Base. On Monday, he flew in directly to see them and Smedinghoff’s three siblings.

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Smedinghoff, 25, and four other Americans were killed while walking from a military base to a nearby school.

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Two explosions occurred, apparently a suicide car bombing followed by a roadside blast. An FBI investigation is in its preliminary stages.

Kerry told embassy staff in Tokyo that Smedinghoff was ‘‘full of idealism and full of hopes, taking books to children in a school so they can learn.’’

Associated Press