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Lockerbie bomber reportedly near death

Aug. 29, 2011 at 8:43 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The ex-Libyan officer convicted of plotting the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing and released from a Scottish prison two years ago is near death, officials said.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was near death at his home near Tripoli, CNN reported Sunday, showing images of a weakened man wearing an oxygen mask in bed,

Al-Megrahi, released by Scottish officials for humanitarian reasons because he was dying from cancer, received a hero's welcome in Libya, which maddened leaders of the United States and other Western governments who have called upon Libyan rebels to extradite him. The rebels' Transitional National Council has refused the requests, bedeviling its Western backers.

Al-Megrahi's death would end the possibility of getting his account of the Libyan government's role in the bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people died, 189 of them U.S. citizens, The New York Times reported.

Al-Megrahi's family told CNN they were caring for him without help.

"We just give him oxygen," al-Megrahi's son, Khaled, said. "Nobody gives us any advice. There is no doctor. There is nobody to ask. We don't have any phone line to call anybody."

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