Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Linda Norgrove: aid worker ‘killed by friendly fire’

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 11, 2010

Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker, may have been killed by a grenade thrown by US troops trying to rescue her from Taliban kidnappers in Afghanistan.

It had initially been reported that Miss Norgrove died after her rebel captors detonated a suicide vest as American troops closed in on them.

The victim’s parents have demanded a full explanation for the events surrounding her capture and failed rescue, amid claims that her release could have been negotiated.

John and Lorna Norgrove are “devastated” by their daughter’s death and were joined at the weekend by their other daughter Sofie at their remote home on the Isle of Lewis.

Speaking at a press conference at 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron said it was not yet certain that Miss Norgrove’s death was caused by allied forces.

US commander General David Petraeus informed Downing Street this morning that a review of the rescue operation had uncovered new information suggesting that a grenade detonated by taskforce members may have been to blame.

Mr Cameron informed Miss Norgrove’s family of the “deeply distressing development” before making his announcement at a scheduled press conference which was delayed by almost an hour.

He said the decision to mount a rescue operation was made by Foreign Secretary William Hague “after careful consideration” and had his full support as Prime Minister.

Ms Norgrove’s life was in “grave danger” from the moment she was seized, and there were fears that she might be passed up the terrorist chain and put at greater peril if she was not rescued.

“I am clear that the best chance of saving Linda’s life was to go ahead, recognising that any operation was fraught with risk for all those involved and success was by no means guaranteed,” said Mr Cameron.

“None of us can understand just how painful this must be for Linda’s family,” he said.

“Also it is deeply regrettable, particularly for them, that the information published on Saturday is highly likely to have been incorrect.

“The statements were made in good faith and on the basis of the information that we received.

“I want to assure Mr and Mrs Norgrove that I will do everything I possibly can to establish the full facts and give them certainty about how their daughter died.”

Mr Cameron said General Petraeus had treated the hostage “as if she was a US citizen” and that “he and the US forces did everything in their power to bring Linda home safely”.

“The US forces placed their own lives in danger. General Petraeus has told me they are deeply dismayed at the outcome. I want to thank them for their courage,” he said.  Read the entire story here

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