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[Published: Friday August 21 2009]

Anger at Lockerbie bomber welcome

Tripoli, 21 Aug-(ANA)-Relatives of those who died in the bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie have voiced anger as the man convicted of the attack was welcomed home in Libya.

Crowds in Tripoli greeted Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, after he was freed from prison on compassionate grounds.

The son of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi called his release a courageous step by Scotland and Britain.

But there was angry reaction from families of those killed in the bombing and from US President Barack Obama.

Most of the 270 people who died when Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie in 1988 were Americans.

Mr Obama said Megrahi's release, eight years into his life sentence, was "a mistake".

He said his administration had told the Libyan government that Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, should not receive a hero's welcome and should be placed under house arrest.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the sight of Megrahi being welcomed in the Libyan capital was very disturbing for families of those who died in the bombing.

Megrahi, who had changed from the tracksuit he wore to leave Greenock prison in Scotland into a dark suit, was met by Col Gaddafi's son. (ANA)

FA/ANA/21 August 2009---



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