British Hostage's Parents Credit U.S. for Admitting U.S. Grenade May Have Killed Her

October 29, 2010 - 9:17 AM

London (AP) - The parents of British aid worker Linda Norgrove praised the U.S. military for admitting she may accidentally have been killed by its soldiers -- saying in an interview televised Friday that the circumstances of the death could easily have been kept secret.

The 36-year-old died in a botched attempt to free her following her kidnapping in Afghanistan's Kunar province, where she was abducted by militants in an ambush on Sept. 26.

Officials initially said she was slain by her captors, but U.S. Gen. David Petraeus later acknowledged that a U.S. grenade may have killed her.

In the interview, her parents refused to play what Norgrove's mother Lorna called "the blame game."

She said: "Linda is dead and there's nothing going to bring her back to us."

Norgrove's father John said it was "very creditable of the Americans to own up that there's been a mistake when they could so easily have covered this whole thing up."

He noted that it couldn't be known what might have happened if Norgrove had been left to the mercy of her captors.

Norgrove's death -- and the drama surrounding the failed rescue attempt -- has drawn sympathy on both sides of the Atlantic. During a visit to London earlier this month, Petraeus phoned John Norgrove to express his condolences and told Britain's prime minister that he had a "personal commitment" to the investigation.

Norgrove had been working for Development Alternatives Inc., a Bethesda, Maryland-based organization that runs U.S.-funded projects in Afghanistan.

In Friday's interview, her mother spoke of the couple's misgivings over their daughter's decision to return to Afghanistan, where she had worked for many years.

"She knew I wasn't keen on her going back," Lorna Norgrove said. "But there's no way as a parent I would stop her doing that. I knew that she'd grown to love Afghanistan, and loved the people."

Norgrove was buried in a traditional ceremony at her home on remote Scottish Isle of Lewis this week.