UK warns Libya not to celebrate Lockerbie bomber's release

August 20, 2010 14:17

Britain's government said it has warned Libya that any celebration of Friday's anniversary of the release from jail of the Lockerbie bomber would be deeply offensive to the families of the mainly US victims of the attack.

Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in connection with the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 above Lockerbie, Scotland, was ordered in 2001 to serve 27 years in jail, but freed on Aug. 20 of last year on compassionate grounds, as he is suffering from prostate cancer.

In a statement urging Libya to show restraint, Britain's Foreign Office on Friday described the bombing, which killed 259 people onboard — mostly Americans — and 11 on the ground, as the "worst act of terrorism in British history."

Before al-Megrahi's release from a Scottish jail, doctors said he would likely live only for three months.

Friday marks the first full year of al-Megrahi's freedom. Many families are outraged at the hero's welcome he received as he returned to Libya, and his continued longevity.

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