It is reported that British aid worker, Linda Norgrove, died after her kidnappers in Afghanistan detonated a bomb vest as American troops attempted to rescue her.
The mission to save Ms Norgrove from her rebel captors was authorised by the Foreign Secretary William Hague while Prime Minister David Cameron was kept informed of the operation, officials said.
The Government defended the decision to launch the military assault, saying it was "right to try" to secure the release of Ms Norgrove, a 36-year-old aid worker from Scotland. Her father John Norgrove said his family is "devastated" by the news.
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.
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.
According to reports, Ms Norgrove was either wearing the bomb vest or it had been held close to her before being detonated by her captors.