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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Grief and outrage at Dumfries aid worker Khalil Dale's murder

Emotional tributes were paid today to the Dumfries aid worker who has been found murdered in Pakistan.

Khalil Dale photo
Khalil Dale

Former hospital nurse Khalil Dale, 60 – also known as Ken – had been managing a health programme in the city of Quetta in south-western Pakistan in January when armed men seized him from a street close to his office.

The British Red Cross worker was found dumped in an orchard today, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid.

The identities of his captors are unknown, but the region is home to separatist and Islamist militants who have kidnapped for ransom before.

The director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the murder, describing it a “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,” said Yves Daccord.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said: "Dumfries is a close-knit community, and has been left shocked by the death of Kahlil. It is a terrible tragedy, made all the worse by its gruesome nature. The fact that someone could kidnap and murder a man who was in Pakistan to help people is an unspeakable act of barbarity.

“All our thoughts are with his friends and family as they hear the news they have been dreading every day since he was taken.

“Khalil knew his work was dangerous, but he did it anyway because he wanted to assist those in need.

“Everyone in Dumfries is deeply saddened by the awful news, but we are proud of everything Khalil achieved. He will be remembered as someone who spent his life putting others first and he made a real difference to countless people across the world.

“I have spoken to the Foreign Office and will continue to do so in the coming days.

“Even now, we still don’t know who kidnapped Kahlil. I want to see the British and Pakistani governments working together to do everything in their power to bring those responsible for this brutal and heinous crime to justice."

Mr Dale had worked as a staff nurse in the A&E department at Dumfries Infirmary, later becoming a Muslim convert and changing his name.

Outside of work, he was involved with the Friends of the Earth and the CND campaign, and was also a talented photographer, having studied at Dumfries and Galloway College. His first overseas mission with the Red Cross came in 1981 when he went to Kenya to distribute food and help those affected by drought.

Mr Dale’s work also took him to Somalia, from 1991 to 1993, where he worked in field hospitals in the aftermath of the country’s famine.

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