UK

Father of aid worker Linda Norgrove pays tribute

Linda Norgrove
Image caption Linda Norgrove died during a rescue attempt

Killed British aid worker Linda Norgrove had "lived a short life and a full life", her father John has said while paying tribute to her.

Ms Norgrove, originally from the Isle of Lewis, was seized in Afghanistan on 26 September.

It was thought she died at the hands of her captors during a US-led rescue attempt on 8 October, but it has since emerged a US grenade may be to blame.

A joint US/UK military inquiry is examining exactly how she died.

Three local staff were taken with her when the two cars they were travelling in in the Dewagal valley in the country's Kunar province were ambushed. The staff were released unharmed but Ms Norgrove was killed during the rescue mission last week.

Mr Norgrove, 60, told the Philadelphia Inquirer's columnist Trudy Rubin, that his daughter had "embraced the people and the wildness of Afghanistan".

In her column - which was published in the US on Thursday - the journalist, who had met Ms Norgrove in Afghanistan, said she had spoken to the 36-year-old's grieving father by telephone while he was at his home on Lewis.

Mr Norgrove said his daughter, who was working for aid agency DAI when she was kidnapped, loved talking to local people.

"She wasn't an extrovert but she was very good at sitting down on a bus and striking up a conversation", he said.

"She was never keen on hanging out with fellow foreigners but was attracted to knowing the local people. Her love was for people.

Footage reviewed

"Her work in Afghanistan gave her a chance to be out there and cut through the red tape. She lived a short life and a full life."

Her death was announced in an official statement by Foreign Secretary William Hague. At the time, he said Ms Norgrove was "killed at the hands of her captors in the course of a rescue attempt".

However, a review of surveillance footage and interviews with those involved with the mission, showed conflicting evidence about what had happened.

On Monday Mr Cameron said he had spoken to US commander Gen David Petraeus who had suggested Ms Norgrove's death may have resulted from a US grenade and not at her captors' hands.

On Friday, during a visit to London, Gen Petraeus said he offered Mr Norgrove his sincere condolences and had updated him on the progress of the investigation.

Gen Petraeus said the new version of events only emerged when footage was removed from a hard drive which showed a "sharper image" of what had happened.

"From that, it was very clear there was a throw-in motion and an explosion followed that and a grenade had been deployed," he said.

Gen Petraeus added that the investigation into Ms Norgrove's death was active, would be transparent and its outcome would be shared completely with the Norgrove family.

He said "the best operatives in the world" had risked their lives on the mission and also revealed that an AC-130 helicopter gunship, which had been in the area at the time, had killed two of those believed to have been holding her."

That inquiry is being led by Brig Rob Nitsch, the Head of Joint Force Support, UK Forces Afghanistan and senior US investigating officer Maj Gen Joseph Votel.

Image caption Linda Norgrove was kidnapped in the Kunar province in Afghanistan in September

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