Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Kabul bombing: Victim Jeni Ayris to be laid to rest in Edinburgh

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Media captionPatricia Ayris says her sister Jeni, who died in a bomb attack in Kabul, "lived every day as if it were her last".

The sister of Jeni Ayris, the South African woman killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, has said she wants to lay her to rest in Edinburgh.

The 48-year-old, who was originally from Durban, ran the Ndebele cafe in the Scottish capital for 11 years before taking a job in Kabul last year.

Patricia Ayris said she had worried about her sister being in Kabul.

But in an interview, she told BBC Scotland: "That's what she wanted to do and I have to respect that."

Jeni, who was working as the customer relations manager for aircraft charter company ACS/BalmOral, had been due to return to Edinburgh on Saturday.

She was one of 12 people killed in an attack on a minibus carrying foreign workers on Tuesday.

It is thought the bus bombing was carried out in retaliation for an anti-Islamic film made in the United States.

Patricia Ayris, who lives in Rosewell, Midlothian, is Jeni's only immediate family.

Speaking to BBC Scotland alongside Jeni's friend Michael Hodgson, she said her sister loved life and "lived every day as if it were her last".

"She was an avid sailor, she loved to cook and she loved what she was doing out in Kabul - every thing she did, she loved.

"She was offered the job by a friend of hers and she thought it was a good idea as she needed something. She needed to have some sort of focus because she was in limbo for a while."

Patricia said her sister had said she had nothing to lose when she took the job.

"She absolutely loved what she was doing," she said.

"She would always say she would have to spin 26 plates, juggle six balls and hit a curve ball all in the same day - and she did, and she did it really well."

Image caption Jeni Ayris ran Ndebele in Edinburgh with a friend

Patricia admitted that she had been worried about her sister working in a war-torn country.

She said: "Yes, of course I was worried, but that was her life and that's what she wanted to do, and I have to respect that."

She added: "The grief comes in waves. One minute I'm fine and the next I'm a wreck, but what I have come to realise in the last couple of days is that my sister had the most amazing friends.

"The response has been outstanding."

Patricia said she wanted her sister to be laid to rest in Edinburgh.

Jeni had been travelling for six years before she arrived in the Scottish capital, where she lived for 17 years.

She set up a cafe called Ndebele's in the Tollcross area, which she ran for 11 years before it closed in 2008.

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