'Gentle' British aid worker murdered in Pakistan

A recent photograph of Khalil Rasjed Dale, who was abducted in January. Credit: Jim McEwan

The beheaded body of a kidnapped British humanitarian worker has been found in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was abducted by suspected militants on January 5 while on his way home in a clearly-marked International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle.

His body was found today on the outskirts of Quetta, which borders southern Afghanistan, and is home to the Quetta Shura - the Taliban's leadership council.

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

ITV News reporter Harry Smith reports:

Frank Ryan, a friend of Khalil Dale, said he was an "amazing man" who undertook dangerous work and had been previously captured in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed his sympathy to the family of Mr Dale.

At the time of his kidnapping, police in Quetta said Mr Dale was abducted by unknown assailants riding a Landcruiser, following a visit to a local school. He had been travelling with a Pakistani doctor and a driver, who were not seized.

Khalil Rasjed Dale was 200 metres from the ICRC residence when he was kidnapped. Credit: British Red Cross/PA Wire

The ICRC said they were "devastated" by Mr Dale's "barbaric" killing.

Mr Dale had worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, the charity said, having previously been posted in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He had been in Quetta for almost a year when he was abducted.

Local police said that Mr Dale's body was found in an orchard, with a note attached saying that he was killed because no ransom was paid to his captors.

British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nick Young said:

"Khalil Dale has been a committed member of the Red Cross Red Crescent family for the last 30 years. He was a gentle, kind person, who devoted his life to helping others, including some of the world's most vulnerable people."