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Aid worker death 'lessons learnt'

The "appropriate tactical lessons" have been shared and learnt from the botched mission to rescue kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove from insurgents in Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary has said.

William Hague also paid tribute to the US Special Forces who tried to free the 36-year-old, seized during an ambush in the Dewagal valley in Kunar province on September 26.

Last month, coroner David Ridley concluded that Ms Norgrove, from the Western Isles, was killed by a grenade thrown by a US soldier during the failed rescue mission but cleared him and his colleagues of any blame.

In a written ministerial statement, Mr Hague said he could now comment on Ms Norgrove's death as the military report into her death had been published.

He said: "It is our long-standing policy not to comment on the tactics of British or our allies' Special Forces but I am confident that appropriate tactical lessons have been shared and learnt.

"I pay tribute to the courage of the US forces who risked their own lives to try and rescue Linda Norgrove."

He added: "The inquest has confirmed the tragic circumstances of Linda Norgrove's death. Ms Norgrove's parents have shown great dignity and strength throughout their ordeal.

"They have set up the Linda Norgrove Foundation to continue their daughter's desire to help bring prosperity and security to the Afghan people as their country is rebuilt. Linda Norgrove's work will continue to be an inspiration."

During the inquest in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, Mr Ridley was told visibility was so poor the US troops had been unaware of Ms Norgrove's presence as they fired at insurgents and the fatal grenade was thrown.

The court heard a US soldier had thrown the grenade as he feared his comrades were in danger and had been "thinking at a million miles a minute" at the time.

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