Kidnapped Briton killed in Afghanistan is buried

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Mourners at the funeral of Linda Norgrove on Tuesday paid tribute to her "humanity, hopes and ideals" as the kidnapped aid worker, killed during a rescue operation in Afghanistan, was buried to the strains of Afghan music.

Family and friends gathered for the service in her home town of Uig, a small community on the remote Isle of Lewis, northwest of the Scottish mainland.

Music at the service reflected the eclectic mix of places in which Norgrove studied and worked, from Mexico and Peru to Africa and Afghanistan. There was also a song in the local Gaelic language.

"It's hard to accept death when it comes to someone close to us, and even harder when it comes so suddenly to someone young who had so much more to offer and in terrible circumstances," said Penelope Hamilton, who conducted the service.

"We're in shock, numb, with so many things left undone and unsaid, with questions which haven't or can't be answered, and a mixture of powerful emotions.

Norgrove, 36, was seized on September 26 in Kunar province, a hotbed of Taliban activity in eastern Afghanistan.

She died during a rescue mission by US special forces on October 8 by what US military officials fear may have been a grenade thrown by a rescuer.

"Linda's humanity, hopes and ideals have long been abroad in the world and we commit these to our minds, our wills and our hearts," Hamilton added.

"Linda's life contributed far more than a little to the world," she said.

The inquest into her death, which opened Friday, heard that she died of "penetrating fragment injuries to the head and chest."

US and NATO officials had initially believed Norgrove was killed when one of her Taliban captors detonated a suicide vest. But a subsequent military review of the operation suggested she may have been killed by a US grenade.

The former United Nations employee was working for the firm Development Alternatives Inc.

She supervised reconstruction programmes funded by the US government in eastern Afghanistan.

© 2010 AFP

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