Kidnapped British aid worker killed by fragment wounds

22nd October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Linda Norgrove, the kidnapped British aid worker killed during an attempted rescue by US forces in Afghanistan, died of penetrating "fragment injuries" to her head and chest, an inquest heard Friday.

US and NATO officials had initially believed Norgrove was killed when one of her Taliban captors blew up a suicide vest -- but a subsequent military review of the operation suggested she may have been killed by a rescuer's grenade.

Police detective chief inspector Colin Smith revealed details of the post-mortem examination as the inquest into the death began at the coroner's court in Salisbury, southwest England.

Pathologist Doctor Russell Delaney carried out a post-mortem examination on October 19 and found the cause of death to be "penetrating fragment injuries to the head and chest", the inquest heard.

Norgrove, 36, was kidnapped on September 26 in Kunar province, a hotbed of Taliban activity in eastern Afghanistan. She was killed during an October 8 rescue mission.

Smith said the three Afghans kidnapped alongside her were released unharmed on October 3.

He said Norgrove was being held in a compound in a densely wooded area.

"Every effort was made to secure Linda's safe release," he told the hearing.

"She was killed during this operation."

The aid worker was pronounced dead at on October 9 at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan and was identified using her passport photograph.

The coroner adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

Norgrove's funeral will be held Tuesday in Uig on the Isle of Lewis, off the northwest Scottish mainland.

© 2010 AFP

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