Afghan Leaders Close to Negotiating Norgrove's Release, Probe Finds

An Afghan tribal leader. Photo by: Mark O'Donald / isafmedia / CC BY isafmediaCC BY

Afghan tribal leaders may have been close to negotiating the freedom of U.K. aid worker Linda Norgrove before the botched rescue attempt during which she was killed, new information from an investigation being conducted in eastern Afghanistan suggests.

The tribal leaders, who spent 12 days negotiating for Norgrove’s release, claimed that her captors had reached a point where they were ready to free the aid worker, the Telegraph reports. They blamed NATO’s refusal to call off a special search operation for thwarting the deal.

The leaders said they took a particular interest in Norgrove’s kidnapping because it was strictly taboo in the conservative Pashtun culture of the Kunar province, where the DAI consultant was kidnapped, to abduct a woman.

“When we heard the news it was a woman, everyone was angry. It is one thing to kidnap, but to kidnap a woman is the worst,” said Haji Kamil, leader of the tribal negotiating delegation, according to the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, Norgrove’s father has noted that the DAI consultant had “lived a short life and a full life,” BBC reports.

“Her work in Afghanistan gave her a chance to be out there and cut through the red tape. She lived a short life and a full life,” John Norgrove told a columnist of the Philadelphia Inquirer, as quoted by BBC.

The U.K. and U.S. have organized a joint inquiry into Norgrove’s death. Gen. David Petraeus has noted that the inquiry is a “personal priority.”

>> Norgrove’s Death Inquiry a ‘Personal Priority,’ US Commander Says

Norgrove was killed during a botched attempt to save her. It was initially believed she died after a suicide vest was detonated by one of her captors, but later information about the incident suggested that a grenade thrown by one of the members of the rescue mission may have caused her death.

>> New Details Surface on Death of British Aid Worker

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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