August 22, 2019

Kidnapped British aid workers death might be ‘friendly fire’

Linda Norgrove 1974-2010. Thank you for all you did for the people of Afghanistan and other countries in need.

Linda Norgrove the British aid worker killed last week following an abortive rescue attempt by US forces may have been killed by friendly fire.

The US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has ordered an investigation into the death of Norgrove who was kidnapped two weeks ago in the Dewagal valley in the Kunar province.

Norgrove was working for US aid group Developments Alternatives, Inc (DAI) when she was taken by Taliban insurgents. Three Afghan nationals travelling with her were later released.

Soon after the failed mission that claimed Linda Norgroves life US forces suggested she had been killed during the assault when her captors detonated a bomb.

But UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said “Linda may not have died at the hands of her captors, as originally believed”. Mr Cameron said General Petraeus had telephoned him on Monday morning to say she could have died as a result of a grenade detonated by the taskforce during the assault.

US military sources said surveillance of the operation from overhead and on the ground was conflicting.

The joint US-UK investigation into the failed rescue attempt will be led by US Major-General Joseph Votel, the chief of staff of the US Special Operations Command.

The investigators will look at surveillance footage of the operation taken by helicopters or pilotless drone aircraft as well as footage from cameras mounted on the helmets of the soldiers on the ground.

The different angles reveal “conflicting evidence” as to whether Ms Norgrove was killed by a US grenade, an Afghan suicide vest, or both, they said.

The investigators will also interview the US soldiers who took part in the operation and possibly attempt to return to the site, in a remote and mountainous area of north-eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.

At a Downing Street press conference on Monday, Mr Cameron said 12 meetings of the government emergencies committee, Cobra, had taken place before Foreign Secretary William Hague and the US agreed the rescue attempt should go ahead. This decision was then approved by the Prime Minister.

He said it was feared that Ms Norgrove life was in danger from the moment she was kidnapped and that she “was going to be passed up the terrorist chain which would increase further the already high risk that she would be killed.”

The prime minister’s office said Mr Cameron spoke to US President Barack Obama late on Monday and both agreed the decision to launch the rescue attempt was right.

The BBC reports that tribal elders negotiating her release had asked Nato not to intervene, to ensure they had more time to secure her freedom.

An officer working for the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s spy agency, said a delegation of mullahs, tribal elders and village chiefs was despatched to the area soon after her capture to negotiate with the militants. But the coalition forces bombed several nearby locations, forcing the delegation to halt their mission.

The sad fact of the matter is that Linda Norgrove has lost her life while working in a land she loved and among a people she loved. Thank you Linda and all those like you who are well aware of the risks and go anyway.

To the Taliban who feel it is neccessary to take their anger at the Afghan Government and it’s NATO allies out on innocent foreigners who are helping the ordinary people of Afghanistan have a better life – Newswarped says you should spend more time caring for your own people and less about your narrow religious beliefs.

There is no place for politics or religious bigotry when many people still do not have the basics of life.