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World in brief

Libya says deal reached on Lockerbie

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 14, 2003


TRIPOLI, Libya -- The Libyan ambassador to London said Thursday his government has accepted its employees' responsibility for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, a step he argued met one of the last requirements for lifting U.N. sanctions against Libya.

There was no confirmation from Washington or London. Both governments have said Libya must clearly acknowledge official responsibility for the 1988 explosion of the jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. It was not clear whether they would accept a statement speaking of employees' responsibility.

Elsewhere . . .

KURD PARTY TARGETED: Turkey's senior prosecutor filed a petition with the Constitutional Court on Thursday to disband the country's leading pro-Kurdish political party, the latest example of the government's tense relationship with the Kurdish minority here.

That step quickly followed a decision by the court Thursday to outlaw a related pro-Kurdish party that had given rise to the current one and that, in the court's judgment, had ties to armed rebels.

Both developments underscored the profound wariness and suspicion with which many Turkish officials regard the country's Kurds, as a possible war in Iraq draws near.

RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS: North Korea made no effort to interfere with a resumption of U.S. Air Force reconnaissance flights off its coast in international airspace, officials said Thursday. Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the reconnaissance missions had resumed Wednesday. The latest U.S. reconnaissance flight was not escorted by U.S. fighters, but it was monitored closely by airborne and ship radars, officials said.

BOMB KILLS 10: A powerful bomb exploded on a crowded commuter train Thursday night in Bombay, India's financial capital, killing at least 10 people and wounding more than 60, officials said. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

STATUE'S HAND GONE: In Vatican City, a hand clutching the symbolic keys to heaven was cut from a 13th century marble statue of St. Peter, which stands at the entrance to the grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica where the saint was buried.

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