Libya agrees to airliner bomb payout

Sept. 11, 2003 at 3:24 PM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Libya has agreed to a compensation deal with relatives of victims of a 1989 bombing of a French airliner over the Sahara.

No details have been disclosed but the BBC said Thursday the agreement has opened the way for U.N. sanctions against Tripoli finally to be lifted.

The deal follows French protests an earlier settlement had been dwarfed by the $2.7 billion Libya agreed to pay in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Paris' objections had led to the postponement of a Security Council vote on ending sanctions against Libya.

UTA flight 772 blew up over Niger in September 1989, killing all 170 people aboard.

Compensation will come from a charity headed by a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi -- not from the Libyan state. Tripoli has never accepted responsibility for the bombing despite the conviction of six Libyan officials tried in absentia by a French court in 1999.

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