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British diplomat killed in Istanbul consulate bombing

LONDON -- Roger Short, a career diplomat who served as British consul general in Turkey since 2001, was among more than two dozen people killed yesterday by bombers in Istanbul. He was 58.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who had visited Short on Tuesday, spoke of the "generous and warm hospitality" he received from the diplomat and his wife three days after suicide bombers killed 23 people in two synagogue attacks in Istanbul.

"They told me of the devastation the people of Turkey were experiencing as a result of the attacks on the synagogues last Saturday and of their admiration for the way in which the different faith communities were standing together in the face of that violence," Williams said yesterday.

Speaking of Short as "one of my best friends," the Rev. Ian Sherwood, chaplain at the consulate, told the BBC that "he was one of these characters that a lot of people knew."

"It comes as an even deeper shock given that he was such a kind and generous person," Sherwood said. "His life was his career in the Foreign Office."

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul confirmed that Short was killed when a truck bomb exploded at the British consulate in Istanbul. Another bomb exploded at a London-based bank five miles away in the Turkish city.

Short, who had both a bachelor's degree in classics and a master's degree from Oxford University, spoke fluent Turkish.

He had previously served as Britain's ambassador to Bulgaria from 1994 to 1998 and worked at the Office of the High Representative, the civilian organization that oversees peace-building in Bosnia-Herzegovina, from 1999 to 2000.

Short joined the diplomatic service after leaving Oxford, and his first foreign posting was at the Turkish capital, Ankara.

He was married in 1971 to Sally Victoria Taylor. He leaves his wife, their son, and two daughters.

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