The Government has defended a failed rescue mission in Afghanistan during which a British hostage was murdered by her rebel captors.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "right to try" to secure the release of Linda Norgrove, a 36-year-old aid worker from Scotland.
General David Petraeus, the top Nato and US commander in Afghanistan, added that troops did "everything in their power" to save a woman colleagues described as an "inspiration".
Ms Norgrove was seized by militants in Kunar province on September 26.
Three Afghan nationals also taken by the insurgents were later released, but Ms Norgrove continued to be held amid growing concern.
After a tip off revealed her whereabouts, US troops in the eastern province were sent in last night.
During the fighting seven insurgents were shot dead, it is believed. But Ms Norgrove was killed by her captors before she could be secured and led to safety.
Authorities in the US and the UK stressed that insurgent captors alone were responsible for the death.