No one to blame say parents of aid worker killed in Afghan rescue

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The parents of a British aid worker held hostage and then killed during a rescue attempt in Afghanistan have said that they do not hold anyone responsible for her death.

Linda Norgrove, 36, was killed by a grenade thrown by US special forces attempting to free her following her kidnapping in the war-ravaged country. She died in Kunar province on October 8.

Her parents, John and Lorna, who live on Lewis in the Western Isles, spoke about their feelings and memories in an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live today.

When asked whom they held responsible for her death, Mr Norgrove said: “We don’t hold anybody responsible. I don’t think it’s a question of responsibility.

“Nobody deliberately intended to kill Linda. It was brave soldiers going in there in very difficult circumstances trying to mount a rescue and unfortunately it went wrong.”

Asked how they try to rationalise what happened, Mr Norgrove said: “I don’t think it’s rationalisable. It’s just two groups of men intent on killing each other and Linda is in the middle of it and things went wrong, people made mistakes. Maybe panicked. I don’t know.”

Ms Norgrove, a former United Nations employee, was supervising reconstruction projects for the firm Development Alternatives Inc when she was captured in the Dewagal valley.

Mr Norgrove said it was a “lovely day” in late September and he and his wife had gone for a walk and climbed a mountain near their home before they were told by police that their daughter had been seized.

“A police car rolled up, a policeman came out and told us that Linda had been kidnapped, which was obviously desperate information,” Mr Norgrove said.

The couple also spoke about their daughter’s work in Afghanistan.

Mrs Norgrove said: “I was very proud of what she was doing out there. She was very interested in helping women and children but women in particular.

“She was very keen to get women into work. Help women into work, and widows – making sure that they, perhaps, had a living because they are often the outcasts of society.”

Mrs Norgrove also said that, as a mother, she was worried about the risks but she accepted what her daughter was going to do and what she wanted to do.

She said: “She would phone and she would tell us if there was an incident and she thought we might have heard about it.”

She added: “There was a couple of occasions when that occurred and she would talk about hearing ammunition and so on, but she was cautious as well.”