The parents of Linda Norgrove, the British aid worker who was killed in Afghanistan after she was kidnapped by the Taliban, said that they do not blame her death on the U.S. military, SkyNews reported Friday.
John and Lorna Norgrove spoke for the first time about reports their kidnapped daughter was killed by a grenade thrown by a U.S. Navy Seal during a rescue attempt.
The aid worker's father praised the U.S. military's readiness to admit their possible role in the tragic mistake and refused to criticize the Americans.
"It would appear the rescue attempt was so close to being a total success, and at the end, there appears to have been a human error. We do think that it's very creditable of the Americans to own up that there's been a mistake when they could so easily have covered the whole thing up. We do think they deserve credit for that," he said. Linda Norgrove and three Afghan nationals were kidnapped Sept. 26 in the Kunar province of northeastern Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, General David Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, conveyed his "most sincere condolences" to her father, as a joint U.S.-U.K. investigation began into her death.
U.S. officials initially claimed that Linda Norgove was killed when one of her captors detonated an explosive vest. However, the investigation is now determining if Norgrove was killed by a grenade thrown by a U.S. Navy Seal.
John Norgrove said he was unsure how much could be read into reports that negotiations for his daughter's release looked promising before the American forces were sent in.
"We don't think anybody's ever going to have a really clear picture -- taking into account both sides -- whether it was better to mount a rescue attempt or to carry on negotiating for a ransom with extremely dangerous and militant criminals," he said.
Police notified the Norgroves of their daughter's kidnapping the day she was taken by the Taliban. When she was killed, Linda Norgrove was working for Development Alternatives Incorporated, a U.S. company that helps to improve life for people in poor countries. Her parents said that despite having worked in Afghanistan for many years, she hesitated before taking her final assignment last February.
"She took a long time to go back for a second time. She knew I wasn't keen on her going back, but there was no way as a parent I would stop her doing that," Lorna Norgrove said.
"I know she had grown to love Afghanistan and loved the people. I knew that's where her heart was, and she wanted to do humanitarian work there. I think that was what was so important to her and what she felt she had to do."
The Norgroves have since set up the Linda Norgrove Foundation, which will focus on projects in Afghanistan that are oriented toward children and families.