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Khalil Dale, Aid Worker Killed In Pakistan, 'Wanted To Make The World A Better Place'

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Dale, 60, had been in capture since 5 January this year
Dale, 60, had been in capture since 5 January this year

Tributes have been paid to a British aid worker whose body was found dumped in an orchard in Pakistan.

Khalil Dale, 60, was abducted at gunpoint in January while working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Baluchistan province.

His kidnappers wrote in a note discovered with Dale's body that he been killed as they had not received a ransom.

From Dumfries, Scotland, the 60-year-old had been awarded the MBE for his humanitarian work overseas. Dale, who changed his name from Ken when he converted to Islam, was engaged to be married and had been living in Pakistan for nearly a year.

Friend and former colleague Sheila Howat, who worked with Mr Dale at Dumfries Infirmary and had known him for 25 years, said that: "It's unbelievable what they've done to Ken. It's soul destroying. For someone who has given their life, devoted their life, to caring for others - it's just so wrong."

"Ken was an absolutely lovely person who saw good in everybody. He wanted to make the world a better place for people who had nothing. This is why he went to all the war-torn countries to try to make things better, particularly for the children."

Dale was travelling home from a local school, in a clearly-marked ICRC vehicle, when kidnappers bundled him into a car in the city of Quetta on 5 January.

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

Above: Dale, right, and his body discovered in Pakistan this weekend

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I was deeply saddened to hear about the brutal murder of Khalil Dale - a man who was killed whilst providing humanitarian support to others.

"This was a shocking and merciless act, carried out by people with no respect for human life and the rule of law.

"Khalil Dale has dedicated many years of his life to helping some of the most vulnerable people in the world and my thoughts today are with his friends and family."

Sean Maguire, of the ICRC, confirmed that the organisation had been in contact with the kidnappers but refused to go into details. He said they had a policy of not paying ransoms.

"We said that we had some contact with the abductors but we wouldn't want to give succour to future kidnappers by saying we countenanced paying a ransom," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"We did everything possible to try to get Khalil out and we are very sad that our efforts failed.

"We put every effort that we could into liberating him and it is deeply, deeply unfortunate that we did not manage to free him. His death, to our mind, is senseless and barbaric."

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