Sunday 18 March 2018

In brief: As liberation beckons, the Lockerbie bomber is not at home to visitors

No one answered the door yesterday at the Lockerbie bomber's Tripoli villa, hidden behind tall walls in an upmarket neighbourhood of the capital.

A neighbour said he saw the son of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in the street on Friday and assumed the family had not left the area.

Megrahi was convicted and imprisoned in Scotland for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people. The Scottish government released Megrahi in 2009, believing he'd soon die of cancer. He was greeted as a hero by Gaddafi and throughout Libya.

The neighbour said he often saw Megrahi in the neighbourhood. "This guy is sick. All the time, I saw him in the wheelchair," he said.

Jet lands safely with blown tyres

A Philippine Airlines jumbo jet carrying more than 400 people has landed safely at LA International Airport after declaring an emergency amid fears of a blown tyre.

After the 747 touched down smoothly, the airport said the airliner had two blown tyres on one landing gear.

The pilot initially descended to a low altitude so a police helicopter could inspect the tyre's condition.

12 killed as overcrowded ferry sinks

At least 12 people have died after an overcrowded ferry sank off eastern Indonesia, officials said. Some 93 people, including the captain, were rescued but officials feared others were trapped inside the sunken vessel. Survivors said the ship capsized hours after a leak was discovered.

Al-Qaeda second-in-command is killed

The al-Qaeda number two, Atiyah al-Rahman, was killed on August 22, a senior US official said yesterday.

The official did not say how Rahman was killed, but said it happened in Waziristan, northwest Pakistan.

The death, coming soon after the May killing of Osama bin Laden, was a huge blow to the terrorist group.

"Atiyah's death is a tremendous loss for al-Qaeda, because al-Zawahri was relying on him to help guide and run the organisation, especially since Bin Laden's death."

Zawahri has led al-Qaeda since bin Laden's death.

Kim Jong Il to move on nuclear arms

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has ended a short trip to China during which he renewed a push to restart talks on swapping aid for his country's nuclear disarmament.

Chinese state media reported that he said he was willing to impose a nuclear test and production moratorium and return to international talks on Pyongyang's atomic programme without preconditions.

Four die in Afghanistan bomb attack

Four civilians were killed and 21 others, including many Afghan security forces, were wounded by a car-bomb blast in the capital of southern Helmand province yesterday.

The blast took place near a bank where Afghan troops lined up to collect their monthly salaries.

Activist to end 11-day hunger strike

An Indian reform activist demanding anti-graft legislation has agreed to end his 11-day hunger strike this morning.

Anna Hazare's statement yesterday came after the India parliament expressed non-binding support for a series of anti-corruption proposals he was supporting.

Probe into group after Nigeria bomb

Nigeria is investigating claims by Islamic militant group Boko Haram that it was responsible for Friday's suicide car-bomb attack on a UN office. The number of casualties rose to 19 by last night with more than 30 injured.

Sunday Independent

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