Red Cross was in contact with Briton’s kidnappers

LONDON: The Red Cross said Monday it had been in contact with the kidnappers of a British humanitarian worker before he was killed by his captors in Pakistan.

Sean Maguire, the humanitarian organisation’s spokesman in Britain, refused to say whether the captors had demanded a ransom for Khalil Dale, who was snatched in January.

Police in Pakistan said 60-year-old Dale’s body was found near Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, on Sunday.

He had been beheaded and a note on his mutilated body said he was killed after his captors’ demands were not met.

“It’s inappropriate to go into the details of any contact we might have had with the abductors,” Maguire told BBC radio.

“We said that we had some contact with the abductors but we wouldn’t want to give succour to future kidnappers by saying yes, we countenanced paying a ransom.

“We did everything possible to try to get Khalil out and we’re very sad that our efforts failed.

“It doesn’t necessarily follow that because you don’t want to go into the details of any conversations that you may or may not have had that you countenance paying a ransom.” He said the organisation took a consistent and systematic approach to dealing with kidnappings.

Maguire said the Red Cross was in “horror” and would now review its operations in Pakistan.

“His death, to our mind, is senseless and barbaric,” he said. “We will take stock and review what we should be doing and what the risk-benefit balance is of operating in different parts of Pakistan.”

The British government has a stated policy of not paying ransoms in hostage cases. AFP