LONDON, April 30: The Red Cross confirmed on Monday it had been in contact with the kidnappers of a British aid worker before he was killed in Pakistan and said his murder would prompt a review of operations in the country.

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

Police said 60-year-old Dale’s body was found near Quetta on Sunday. He had been beheaded and a note on his 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,” Mr 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. He said the organisation took a consistent and systematic approach to dealing with kidnappings.

Mr 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.

There has been no claim of responsibility for Mr Dale’s abduction or killing.

Senior Quetta police official Tariq Manzoor said on Monday that the note recovered from Mr Dale’s body was unsigned, contrary to what he said on Sunday when he claimed the note was from the Taliban.

“There was some confusion,” Mr Manzoor told AFP. Without a signature, police officials “concluded that this is from Taliban,” he added.

After Mr Dale was snatched on Jan 5, Mr Manzoor said police traced a call in which the abductors demanded $30 million for his release.

“The call came from Afghanistan and we all suspected the captors are Taliban,” he said.—AFP

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