THE family of a British aid worker shot dead in Africa have paid tribute to her deep love for life and said she will serve as an inspiration to others.

Faye Mooney, a 29-year-old communications specialist, was killed in Nigeria by kidnappers during a failed abduction on Friday evening.

Ms Mooney’s family told the Guardian that she was a bright and intelligent woman with a “deep love for life and people” who had never been happier.

A Nigerian man was also shot dead in the attack on a holiday resort in northwestern Nigeria, 37 miles (60km) south of Kaduna, in which three other people were abducted late, local police and the British high commission said.

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Lagos, Nigeria. (Stock pic)

Ms Money's family said her bravery and belief in societal change that “took her to places others feared”.

“She was on holiday with her boyfriend Matthew Oguche,” they said. “Faye was an inspiration to her family, friends, students and work colleagues. Her bravery and her belief in a better society took her to places others feared. Faye did what she wanted; nothing held her back.

“Permanently against the grain, Faye was unconventional to the core. Her family and friends are so proud of who she was and of everything she achieved in her short but purposeful life. Her memory will always be cherished.”

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Kidnappings are rampant in Nigeria, where both locals and foreigners are targeted, mainly for ransoms.

Ms Mooney, from Manchester, and the Nigerian citizen were shot dead when gunmen attacked the Kajuru Castle holiday resort in Kaduna state.

Colleagues are "utterly heartbroken" at the death of their "dedicated and passionate" workmate, Neal Keny-Guyer, the chief executive of Mercy Corps humanitarian organisation said.

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The Kajuru Castle holiday resort Pic:Tripadvisor

Police spokesman Yakubu Sabo said Ms Mooney was among a group of 12 tourists who had travelled from Lagos. There was no more detail on the nationalities of the other people who were kidnapped.

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Ms Mooney was Mercy Corps' communication specialist in Nigeria and had been at the company for nearly two years.

The career of the University College London and London School of Economics graduate had included teaching in Iraq and working in Kosovo to combat human trafficking, according to Mercy Corps.

In his statement Mr Keny-Guyer said: "Faye was deeply committed to fostering cross-cultural collaboration and was an inspiration to us all.

"We extend our deepest sympathy to those who have been affected by this senseless tragedy, including her family, friends and all of our team members in Nigeria who knew her and loved her.

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"Our program operations in Nigeria will continue, but our priority focus at this time remains on the care of the family of our beloved team member and our team in Nigeria."

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The British High Commission in Nigeria said: "We are aware of the tragic incident involving the death of a British national in Kaduna State on Friday. The next-of-kin has been notified.

"The British High Commission offers our most profound sympathies and condolences to the families and friends at this difficult time."