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U.S. Peace Corps Worker Killed in Lesotho

The U.S. Embassy in Lesotho says a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the southern African country was shot and killed in an apparent robbery attempt.

In a statement this week, the embassy identified the volunteer as 24-year-old Thomas Maresco, a recent University of Florida graduate who had been working in Lesotho since 2009. He died Sept. 3.

The embassy says, "It appears it may have been an attempted robbery." No other details were provided.

Maresco taught high school science and coached basketball and swimming in the Lesotho village of Katse, since arriving in the country in November 2009. He was among about 90 volunteers in Lesotho, an impoverished, mountainous kingdom surrounded by South Africa.

Mareesco was also committed to developing innovative ways to address HIV awareness and prevention among young people.

"Tom was an exceptional volunteer, leader, teacher and coach - he was an integral part of his host community where he shared his passion for teaching, music and sports," said Peace Corp Director Aaron S. Williams. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic event, and I ask that you keep Tom's family and our volunteers and staff in Lesotho in your thoughts and prayers."

He was scheduled to complete his Peace Corps service in January 2012.

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