UK parents don't blame US for death

2010-10-29 18:02

London - The parents of British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who was killed as US forces tried to rescue her from kidnappers in Afghanistan, said on Friday they did not blame the Americans for her death.

John and Lorna Norgrove were speaking publicly for the first time since their daughter Linda was killed on October 8, almost a fortnight after she was seized by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.

"We don't want to get into the blame game. Linda is dead, and there's nothing (that is) going to bring her back to us," said Lorna Norgrove in a television interview filmed by a family friend and released to the media.

John Norgrove added: "We don't know what the outcome would have been if no rescue attempt had been made."

An investigation is underway into how Linda died, but US military officials fear the 36-year-old may have been killed by a grenade thrown by a rescuer.

"It would appear to us that the rescue attempt was so close to being a total success and at the end there is what appears to have been a human error," her father said.

"But we do think that it's very creditable of the Americans to own up that there's been a mistake when they could so easily have covered the whole thing up. We do think they deserve credit for that."

Worst nightmare

Linda was working for US development company DAI when she was seized while driving through Kunar province, a hotbed of Taliban activity.

Her father said he had tried to persuade her not to return to Afghanistan, where she had worked with the UN earlier in her career.

"At the time I said to her that our worst nightmare was that she might be kidnapped," he said.

"But at the end we had to accept that she'd been adventurous, she'd done risky things before. And we knew that she was very good at judging risks."

His wife said her daughter had taken "a long time" to decide to return, adding: "She knew I wasn't keen on her going back but there was no way as a parent I would stop her doing that.

"I knew that she'd grown to love Afghanistan and love the people."

The couple have set up a charity in their daughter's memory, the Linda Norgrove Foundation, to help families, children and women in Afghanistan. It is based in the Scottish Isle of Lewis, where they live.