Afghan captors kill British aid worker

2010-10-09 13:41

London - A British aid worker held hostage in Afghanistan for the past fortnight was killed by her captors during a rescue attempt, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday.

"It is with deep sadness that I must confirm that Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker who had been held hostage in eastern Afghanistan since 26 September, was killed at the hands of her captors in the course of a rescue attempt last night (Friday)," Hague said in a statement.

The 36-year-old was working for US aid group DAI when she was seized alongside three local staff when their vehicle convoy was attacked in Kunar, an eastern province bordering Pakistan that is a hotbed of Taliban activity.

"Responsibility for this tragic outcome rests squarely with the hostage takers," Hague said.

"From the moment they took her, her life was under grave threat. Given who held her, and the danger she was in, we judged that Linda’s best chance lay in attempting to rescue her."

The foreign secretary thanked Britain's Nato allies and the Afghan authorities and security forces "for doing all they could to secure the safe release of Linda".

He added: "Hostage taking is never justified and the UK does not make concessions to hostage-takers. But whenever British nationals are kidnapped, we and our allies will do everything in our power to free them.

"It is a tragedy that Linda was taken whilst doing the job she loved in a country she loved. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this terrible time."

Norgrove was an experienced aid worker, having worked in Afghanistan for several years with the United Nations before joining DAI as regional director for a US-funded aid project in the eastern town of Jalalabad in February.