Norgrove parents: 'We could see the soldiers advancing and the hostages coming out of buildings'

THE parents of kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove have revealed they were shown "harrowing" video footage of the failed rescue attempt in which their daughter died.

• Linda Norgrove's parents were given a detailed account of the rescue attempt Picture: Ian Rutherford

• Linda Norgrove's parents were given a detailed account of the rescue attempt Picture: Ian Rutherford

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John and Lorna Norgrove say they believe they were given a "full and honest" account of the failed mission during a seven-hour briefing with senior military officials.

Ms Norgrove, 36, from Lewis, was killed by a grenade thrown by a US soldier as a special forces squad tried to free her after she was taken hostage in Afghanistan in September.

It was initially reported that an explosive suicide vest detonated by her captors caused her death. However, it later emerged her injuries were the result of the grenade thrown during a firefight at the compound where she was held.

Last week, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, revealed that members of the elite team have been disciplined.

He said a joint US-UK investigation found that the failure to disclose information that a grenade was thrown breached US military law.

Ms Norgrove's parents, who stay in the village of Mangersta in Lewis, were given a detailed account of the rescue attempt which included diagrams and video footage taken from a plane flying over the area.

In a statement released by the couple yesterday, Mrs Norgrove said: "It was difficult at the time to watch that, but we feel that we've been told what happened and we feel we've been given a full and honest account of the rescue."

Her husband added: "I think the report appeared to be quite an honest attempt to go through the whole rescue attempt and in general all the conclusions in the report were acceptable.

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"I looked at an overhead video that was actually taken during the rescue where we could see the soldiers advancing and the hostages coming out of buildings and it was quite harrowing.

"It was a difficult thing to go through but I feel at the end of it we got a really good picture of what happened."

The next step for the couple is an inquest into Ms Norgrove's death which opens in Swindon next month and will examine the rescue and events leading up to it .

Mr Norgrove said: "The report did not cover the events which led up to the rescue attempt and we still have some concerns about this and we hope the inquest which is going to be held next January, we think, will investigate these issues and shed a bit more light on those."

In the meantime, the Norgroves will concentrate on a charitable foundation set up in their daughter's name.

Mr Hague told the Commons last week that the rescue attempt was carried out in "total darkness" in the Dewagal valley and involved assaults on a series of buildings on a mountainside.

One of two teams sent in to save Ms Norgrove landed near the lower group of buildings and her captors came out fighting.

He said: "A grenade was thrown by a member of the rescue team who feared for his own life and those of the team towards a gully from which some of the insurgents had emerged."

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The Foreign Secretary said it was not until the team returned to the area from the higher group of buildings, where they believed Ms Norgrove was being held, that they realised she had been killed.

Ms Norgrove, who was based in Jalalabad, was supervising reconstruction programmes in the eastern region of Afghanistan funded by the US government when she was captured during an ambush.

The investigation, led by US Major General Joseph Vogel and British Brigadier Robert Nitsch, was launched when conflicting evidence emerged about the rescue attempt.