Area Woman Executed In Afghanistan After Delivery Aid

By Scott Sarvay
By Laura Donaldson

August 9, 2010 Updated Aug 9, 2010 at 6:29 PM EDT

MARION, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter)- An Indiana Wesleyan University alumni was executed in Afghanistan after delivery aid to needy villagers.

Taliban insurgents north of Kabul stopped the aid worker's convoy and shot them one-by-one because they say the workers were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. A claim their families and the aid organization deny.

32-year old Cheryl Beckett earned a biology degree from Indiana Wesleyan in 2000 and spent six years in Afghanistan specializing in nutritional gardening and mother-child health.

Beckett and her nine colleges were attacked after a two-week mission in a remote province north of Kabul.

Her family released this statement saying, “Those who committed this act of terror should feel the utter shame and disgust that humanity feels for them.”

Beckett’s father is now speaking out for his daughter.

“Had those men had the opportunity to know her, I think they would have laid down their weapons and sat at her feet and asked her: Tell us, who is it who has given you think kind of life, this kind of hope, this kind of love? So, I think that's what I would want people to know about her,” Reverend Charles Beckett said.

Beckett was the youngest victim in the attack. She was working with The International Assistance Mission, a non-profit Christian aid group.

The executive director of the organization told ABC News he has no plans of leaving Afghanistan despite the murders.

The victim’s bodies will be flown back to the United States where an autopsy will be preformed. Beckett's family will then have a memorial service for her in her Tennessee hometown.

Indiana Wesleyan leaders say they will hold a memorial service when school resumes in September. A scholarship will also be established in her name.

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