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Scottish police head to Libya for 1st time

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 10:04 p.m.

TRIPOLI — Scottish police continuing their probe into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie will visit Libya for the first time, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Thursday.

Officers from the Dumfries and Galloway force in Scotland will be granted visas by Libya to meet with officials and discuss the next steps in their investigation.

Cameron met with Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zaidan after talks in Tripoli on Thursday.

“We are delighted,” Cameron said. “The Dumfries and Galloway police team are now able to visit. In all these cases, what I want to achieve is justice.”

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the sole Libyan convicted of the attack, died at his home in Tripoli last year — three years after being released from a Scottish prison on medical grounds and returning to Libya to a hero's welcome. Some of the victims' families remain unconvinced of his guilt.

The bombing, which followed a number of other attacks blamed on Libya, including a 1986 blast at a Berlin disco, largely cemented the country's pariah status in the world community under Moammar Gadhafi's rule. Gadhafi was ousted in 2011 by rebels backed by Britain and other western countries in 2011. He was killed the same year.

The bombing of the jetliner killed 259 passengers and crew members, plus 11 residents of Lockerbie. Among the dead were 189 Americans, including Beth Ann Johnson of Hempfield; Elyse Saraceni, daughter of Gene and Iva Saraceni of Salem Township; Army Maj. Charles McKee of Trafford; and University of Pittsburgh professor David Gould of Squirrel Hill.

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