October 8, 2010
On 26 September 2010 Scottish aid worker Linda Norgrove and three of her Afghan
colleagues were kidnapped by members of the Taliban in the Kunar Province, in
eastern Afghanistan. At the time she had been working in the country as regional
director for an international development company. Following their capture the group
was taken to the nearby Dewegal Valley area. United States and Afghan forces began
to conduct search operations in the area, including road blocks to prevent the group
from being moved east into Pakistan.
Norgrove's captors demanded the release of Afia Siddiqui in exchange for her return.
During the negotiations, on 3 October 2010, the Taliban released her three Afghan
colleagues. Five days later, following concerns that Norgrove would be killed or moved
by her kidnappers, the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
conducted a pre-dawn rescue attempt on the Taliban mountain hideout where she was
being held captive. US forces killed several of the kidnappers as well as three local
farmers in the assault. They subsequently located Norgrove in a nearby gully; she was
badly wounded and later died from her injuries.
Initial reports suggested that Norgrove had been killed by one of her captors
detonating an explosive belt. However, a joint official investigation by the United
Kingdom and United States concluded Norgrove's death resulted from a grenade
thrown by the rescue team. A coroner's narrative verdict from February 2011 stated
that Norgrove had died during the failed rescue attempt.