By Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor
Published: 12 Oct 2010

DAVID Cameron was left shaken yesterday after it emerged his decision to rescue Brit hostage Linda Norgrove ended in her being killed by a US grenade.

The PM said: “I will go over it 100 times in my own mind, but I am satisfied it was still the right thing to do.”

Until yesterday it was believed Linda, 36, died at the hands of one of her Taliban captors who exploded a suicide vest as US Navy Seals went in to pluck her from a hideout in Afghanistan on Friday.

But NATO Afghan chief, US General David Petraeus, rang Mr Cameron and told him it was probably a US grenade that killed her. Early reports suggest there was an intelligence failing on which room she was being held in.

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“WE have all been brought up on films where these things go perfectly — and that is the big problem.

What happened was a bid to save the life of a woman who essentially was already dead. The people holding Linda Norgrove were likely to kill her, so an attempt had to be made.

It’s an absolute tragedy and no one wanted to see this happen.

But there is only a small window of opportunity before the captors do something drastic. They risked their lives to save her life.

This time it didn’t work out. But it was still the right thing to do.”