Jeni Ayris, who was originally from Durban in South Africa, was the owner of former African cafe and deli Ndebele in the Scottish capital.
The 46-year-old had been in Kabul for 14 months working for a South African aviation firm and was due to return to Scotland on Friday.
The attack was carried out by a female suicide bomber who rammed a minibus carrying foreign workers near Afghanistan’s airport on Tuesday.
Ms Ayris previously ran Ndebele’s in the Tollcross area of Edinburgh for 11 years before it closed in 2008. The cafe reportedly once fed Nelson Mandela.
Friend Richard Kellett, from the Isle of Mull, said: “Her sister received a call from her employers on Tuesday morning but we have heard nothing more since.
“It has come as a real shock. I spoke to her about the risks, but this looked like an organised attack, which made it harder to plan for it.”
In her last message on Twitter just weeks before she died, Ms Ayris asked: ‘I am back in Afghanistan and wonder what lies before me this time.’
Islamist group Hezb-e-Islami claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was in retaliation for the controversial American film lampooning the Prophet Mohammad which has sparked turmoil across the Muslim world.
Ms Ayris, 47, who had been in Afghanistan for little more than a month, was due to return home to see her sister Patricia and friends in Scotland only this weekend.
Heartbroken friends described her today as a ‘great cook who loved entertaining’ and a passionate sailor who enjoyed boating on the Firth of Forth and along the West Coast of Scotland.
She had been working in the country for just over a year as a customer relations manager for aviation firm Air Charter Services, organising private flights for charities and NGOs into and out of the country.
Mr Kellet added: “She loved her job. She would go out there for three months at a time and come home for one.”
Police in Kabul said the suicide bomber may have been driving a Toyota Corolla car rigged with explosives, which she triggered.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police in Kabul the previous day, burning cars and hurling rocks at security forces in the worst outbreak of violence since February rioting over the inadvertent burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers.
The protesters in Kabul and several other Asian cities have vented their fury over the film at the United States, blaming it for what they see as an attack on Islam.
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