UK aid worker was killed by US grenade

British aid worker Linda Norgrove was killed by a grenade thrown by US forces during a rescue attempt in Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary said today.





The 36-year-old was seized by militants in Kunar province on September 26.



Updating MPs on an investigation into her death on October 8, William Hague told the Commons it was now clear her injuries were caused by a grenade thrown by her rescuers.









Mr Hague said the rescue attempt was carried out in "total darkness" in the Dewagal valley and involved assaults on a series of buildings on a mountainside.



One of two teams sent in to save Ms Norgrove landed near the lower group of buildings and her captors came out fighting.



He said: "A grenade was thrown by a member of the rescue team who feared for his own life and those of the team towards a gully from which some of the insurgents had emerged."



The Foreign Secretary said it was not until the team returned to the area from the higher group of buildings, where they believed Ms Norgrove was being held, that they realised she had been killed.



Mr Hague said: "Linda had been taken by her captors into the gully into which the grenade had been thrown and where her body was now discovered."









The former United Nations employee from the Western Isles was working for the firm Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) when she was captured during an ambush.



Based in Jalalabad, she supervised reconstruction programmes in the eastern region of Afghanistan funded by the US government.



Initial reports suggested she had been killed when one of her captors detonated a suicide vest.



An investigation was launched by the US military when conflicting evidence emerged.



The probe led by a 10-man team in Afghanistan involved sifting through hours of video footage and hundreds of pages of documents, Mr Hague said.



He said: "Although the US soldiers did report their own use of a grenade, this was not immediately reported up the military chain of command.



"It was only on later examination of the video footage that the possibility that a grenade was thrown became known to more senior officers.



"The investigation team found that the failure to disclose information that a grenade was thrown breached US military law.



"As a result, members of the rescue team have been disciplined for failing to provide a complete and full account of their actions in accordance with US military procedure."



An inquest into her death was held in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on October 22, which heard she died of penetrating fragment injuries to her head and chest.



Hundreds attended her funeral at Uig Community Centre on Lewis four days later.



Mr Hague paid tribute to Ms Norgrove's parents John and Lorna who set up a charity foundation in her memory.



He said: "I would like to pay tribute to Linda Norgrove's family, who have shown inspiring strength, dignity and fortitude throughout their terrible ordeal.



"They above all others deserve to have the fullest account possible.



"Throughout the investigation Foreign Office officials have been in close contact with the Norgrove family.



"Linda's parents John and Lorna were briefed yesterday on the outcome of this investigation, and I met them this morning to discuss its findings."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss