Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Heathrow remembers Lockerbie dead

Lockerbie nose cone
It is 20 years since Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie

A private memorial service has taken place at Heathrow Airport in London to mark the 20th anniversary of the Lockerbie tragedy.

Pan Am Flight 103 from Heathrow to New York exploded in the skies above the Scottish town on 21 December 1988.

All 259 people on board were killed and a further 11 died on the ground below.

Relatives and former Pan Am employees took part in the airport chapel service, led by Rev John Mosey, whose daughter Helga died in the atrocity.

Services were taking place at Lockerbie and in the US, including at New York State's Syracuse University, which lost 35 students in the bombing.

Some 500 people were also expected to attend a remembrance ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington DC.

Former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was found guilty of mass murder following a trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001.

Al Megrahi, who was recently diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, has consistently denied responsibility for the bombing and a second appeal against his conviction will be heard next year.

Among those due to give a reading at the Heathrow service was Dr Jim Swire, the Midlands GP who lost his daughter in the tragedy.

He is leading a campaign for the release of Al Megrahi.

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