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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Lockerbie families claim victory

Wreckage of Pan Am 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland
The Pan Am bombing killed 270 people in the plane and on the ground

The families of the 180 US victims of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, have claimed victory in their quest for justice.

In Washington, Kara Weipz of the Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 group told reporters Libya had "finally fulfilled 100% justice" by paying compensation.

Libya paid $1.5bn (1bn) in October into a fund for victims of the 1988 bombing, which killed 270 people.

It cleared the last hurdle to restoring full diplomatic relations with the US.

"Until today, Libyan officials claimed it had long fulfilled justice to the families," said Ms Weipz, whose brother was killed on the flight.

We're proud to announce we won, and Libya has been held accountable
Sen Frank Lautenberg

"For many years, we were the forgotten victims of terrorism. Today is historic because Libya has finally fulfilled 100% justice to the Pan Am 103 families."

Senator Frank Lautenberg, who has acted as a representative for relatives of the victims, praised Tripoli's transfer of the final payment.

"We're proud to announce we won, and Libya has been held accountable," he said.

The BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington says it has taken five years of at times difficult negotiations to reach this state, including taking Libya off the US government's State Sponsors of Terrorism list.

Terrorism renounced

Earlier this week, US President George W Bush said a "painful chapter" between the two countries was closing.

He made the remarks after speaking on the phone to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Tripoli paid a total of $1.8bn into a fund to be used to cover compensation claims for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the 1986 bombing of a German disco.

The Lockerbie bombing killed all 259 people on board the flight, as well as 11 people on the ground. Three people died and more than 200 were wounded in the attack in Germany.

Another $300m from the fund will go to Libyan victims of US airstrikes ordered in retaliation for the disco bombing.

Mr Bush has already restored Libyan immunity from terror-related lawsuits and dismissed pending compensation cases in the US.

Libya's relations with Western countries have opened up since 2003, when Mr Gaddafi renounced international terrorism and efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction, ending decades of isolation.

Last week, a Scottish appeal court rejected a bail application from Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

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