Kidnapped UK Aid Worker Khalil Dale Killed In Pakistan

A British aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan in January has been found dead, the Foreign Office has said.

A British aid worker kidnapped in Pakistan in January has been found dead, the Foreign Office has said.

Khalil Dale, 60, who worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was kidnapped in Quetta, south-west Pakistan.

The body of the Muslim-convert was found in an orchard in Quetta with a note saying he had been killed by the Taliban, local police said.

The ICRC described the health programme manager's killing as a "barbaric act".

It is understood the militants holding him had asked for a huge ransom which could not be paid.

Foreign Secretary William Hague called his murder "senseless and cruel".


Mr Dale, who had links to Dumfries, south-west Scotland, had worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, carrying out assignments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

He was abducted by unidentified armed men while on his way home from work.

Aleem Maqbool, the BBC's correspondent in Islamabad, said very little had been heard publicly about the case since eyewitnesses reported seeing Mr Dale's car ambushed by suspected militants in early January.

Most international aid agencies had moved foreign staff out of Quetta long ago and the death would only persuade more to do the same, our correspondent added.

ICRC director general Yves Daccord said: "The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act.

"All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil's family and friends. We are devastated.

''Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause."

Mr Hague said: "I utterly condemn the kidnapping and killing of Mr Dale, and send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones as they come to terms with their tragic and distressing loss.

"This was a senseless and cruel act, targeting someone whose role was to help the people of Pakistan, and causing immeasurable pain to those who knew Mr Dale.

"My thoughts are with them, and with all those who have dedicated their lives to assisting the world's most vulnerable people through the Red Cross."

Troubled area

Quetta, close to the border with Afghanistan and to Pakistan's troubled tribal areas, has been beset with problems of militancy.

There is known to be a Taliban presence there, but there has also been violence connected to the separatist movement in Balochistan.

The Red Cross operates clinics in Quetta that treat people wounded in the war in Afghanistan, including Taliban insurgents.

In August last year, a 70-year-old US aid worker was kidnapped in the city of Lahore.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri later issued a video saying he would be freed if the US stopped air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Nothing has been heard of him since.