'Linda would be heartbroken for Afghanistan's women'

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Media caption,

Mother of Scots aid worker Lorna Norgrove tells of her fears and hopes for Afghanistan's women

The family of a Scottish aid worker killed in Afghanistan say she would have been heartbroken at the situation unfolding in the country.

Linda Norgrove was kidnapped by the Taliban in September 2010 and died during an attempt to rescue her.

Her parents set up a charity in her name to support projects offering education and other opportunities to Afghan women and girls.

Rights groups fear women's freedoms could be eroded under the Taliban.

Linda's mother Lorna Norgrove, who lives in the Western Isles, said: "Linda would have been heartbroken.

"She was a real advocate of education for women and women's rights and I think she would have been really sad to see how things have gone."

The Taliban's return to rule follows the withdrawal of the US military and other international forces, and brings an end to almost 20 years of a US-led coalition's presence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has said the rights of women in Afghanistan will be respected "within the framework of Islamic law".

In the group's first news conference since taking control of the country on Sunday, a spokesman said women would be free to work but gave little detail about other rules and restrictions.

The militant group introduced or supported punishments in line with their strict interpretation of Islam's legal system, Sharia law, when they controlled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.

Women had to wear the all-covering burka, and the Taliban also disapproved of girls aged 10 and over going to school.

Image source, Linda Norgrove Foundation
Image caption,
Linda died in October 2010 during an attempt to rescue her

The Linda Norgrove Foundation - set up by Lorna and John Norgrove to continue her work - has raised more than £1m to fund projects offering women opportunities to study, set up businesses and take up sports.

Lorna said, regardless of what the Taliban did next, that legacy will remain.

She said: "They (women) have had an education and this is something the Taliban cannot take away from them and they can pass on their education to their families and communities."

Linda, 36, from Lewis, was overseeing a USAID project set up to create jobs and support economies in fragile areas of Afghanistan.

She was kidnapped in Kunar on 26 September 2010 and died in an attempted rescue by US special forces on 8 October that year.

A joint UK and US investigation found that she was killed by a grenade thrown by one of the American soldiers.