US soldier 'may be disciplined' for British aid worker death

14th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

A US soldier who may have accidentally killed a British aid worker being held hostage in Afghanistan during a failed rescue attempt is likely to face disciplinary action, a report said Thursday.

The special forces soldier threw a grenade that may have killed Linda Norgrove, who died last Friday in the American rescue bid, said Britain's Guardian newspaper, citing sources in Kabul and London.

But the serviceman failed to inform his commanding officers that he had thrown the explosive until long after the event, said the daily paper.

During the assault on the kidnappers' base, 36-year-old Norgrove broke away from her captors and lay in the foetal position to avoid harm, said the Guardian.

But the US soldier failed to see her and tossed a fragmentation grenade close to where she was hiding, and it exploded next to her, said the paper.

Officials had initially said Norgrove was killed when one of her Taliban captors blew up a suicide vest -- but a review of the operation revealed that a US grenade may have killed her.

The United States has ordered an investigation into the incident.

The report came as British Prime Minister David Cameron was due to meet with the top US commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, in London later Thursday. They had been due to hold the talks before the incident.

Cameron said Tuesday the circumstances surrounding the aid worker's death were still "unclear."

"The responsibility for Linda's death lies with those cowardly, ruthless people who took her hostage in the first place," he insisted.

© 2010 AFP

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