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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 01:40 GMT 02:40 UK
Cuba 'bomber' sought by Venezuela
Luis Posada Carriles in 1985
Luis Posada Carriles was accused of plotting to kill Fidel Castro
Venezuela has asked the US to extradite an anti-communist militant to retry him for the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976, diplomats say.

Luis Posada Carriles, who was born in Cuba but is a Venezuelan citizen, is reported to be hiding in the US.

Declassified FBI documents say Mr Posada Carriles spent time working for the CIA during the 1960s, and blame him for the bombing.

The 1976 explosion on a flight from Barbados to Havana killed 73 people.

The Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, has been campaigning for the US to hand over Mr Posada Carriles.

He claims that the US war on terror will lose credibility if its government refuses to act against an alleged terrorist on its own soil.

The US Department of Homeland Security revealed this week that Mr Posada Carriles had applied for political asylum in the US.

Mr Posada Carriles was among four men jailed in Panama five years ago for their role in an alleged plot to murder Mr Castro, but pardoned and released last year.

He escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985 while awaiting the result of an appeal against a conviction for the bombing.

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