Thursday 21 September 2017

Lockerbie remembers, 25 years on

Bagpipes played and wreaths were laid in Lockerbie yesterday as the families of those who died in the deadly airliner bombing over the town 25 years ago gathered to remember the victims.

Pan Am 103, which was bound for New York, exploded over the southern Scottish town less than an hour after take-off from London on the evening of December 21, 1988, killing 270 people either aboard the plane or on the ground. Many of the victims were American college students flying home for Christmas.

The attack remains the deadliest terror attack to have taken place in Britain. Only one man, former Libyan intelligence official Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was convicted of the bombing. He was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in Tripoli last year.

Relatives of some of the victims gathered at Lockerbie's Dryfesdale Cemetery, laying down wreaths before a memorial stone. Scotland's First Minster Alex Salmond, above, was also among those in attendance.

Later senior Scottish officials were due to attend a service at Westminster Abbey in London. In the United States, US Attorney General Eric Holder and other officials were due to speak at a ceremony at Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery.

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