Friday, 22 October 2010

Post mortem confirms Linda Norgrove died from fragment injuries

News from the inquest into the death of Lewis aid worker Linda Norgrove

Kidnapped Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove died of penetrating fragment injuries to her head and chest, an inquest has been told.

Ms Norgrove was killed accidentally during a US forces rescue operation in Afghanistan. The results of the post-mortem examination in England appear to confirm that she succumbed to wounds from a fragmentation grenade thrown by one of her would-be rescuers.

Detective chief inspector Colin Smith of the Metropolitan Police revealed details of the post-mortem examination at the opening of the inquest at the coroner’s court in Salisbury, Wiltshire, yesterday.

Her death was initially blamed on her captors but later details emerged that she may have been killed by one of the US Special Forces troops sent to free her.

A US special forces soldier is reportedly facing disciplinary action for throwing the fragmentation grenade believed to have killed her.

The handling of the news caused huge embarrassment for the US military and Prime Minister David Cameron, who called Ms Norgrove’s parents to apologise.

Ms Norgrove, 36, from the Isle of Lewis, was kidnapped by militants in the Dewagal valley in Kunar province on September 26.

She was fatally wounded during a high risk helicopter rescue mission in a remote valley on October 8.

A former United Nations employee, Ms Norgrove was working for the firm Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) at the time of her kidnap.

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

Ms Norgrove’s funeral will be held on Tuesday at Uig Community Centre in Timsgarry, Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, where her parents Lorna, 62, and John, 60, live.

The Norgrove family said friends and everyone who knows them would be welcome. Rather than flowers, they requested donations to a charitable foundation they set up to continue the work Ms Norgrove was doing in Afghanistan.

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