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Lockerbie bomber dies in Tripoli

  • Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan national convicted of the 1988 bombing of a plane over Scotland, died of prostate cancer on Sunday at his home in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

    Megrahi, 60, who said he was not responsible for bringing down the PanAm flight on the Scottish town of Lockerbie and killing 270 people, was found guilty in 2001.

    He was freed in 2009 on compassionate grounds because he had terminal cancer. His funeral is due to be held later in the day.

    The decision by Scottish officials to return Megrahi to Libya has courted controversy and was criticized by the U.S. as Megrahi was welcomed home by deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    Megrahi was the only person convicted for the bombing and was found guilty of secretly loading a suitcase bomb onto a plane at Malta's Luqa Airport, where he was head of operations for Libyan Arab Airlines in December 1988.

    The suitcase was transferred at Frankfurt to another flight and then onto New York-bound PanAm Flight 103 at London's Heathrow airport.

    All 259 people, 189 of whom were American, aboard the aircraft were killed when it exploded. 11 people in Lockerbie died when homes and vehicles were wrecked by falling debris.