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September 2, 2009

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Health of released Lockerbie bomber worsens

THE health of the Lockerbie bomber, who has terminal prostate cancer, had swiftly deteriorated since his release from a Scottish prison less than two weeks ago, a senior Libyan official said in Tripoli yesterday.

The head of the Libyan State Information Agency, Majid al-Dursi, said Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was in the hospital and described him as "very sick."

"His health is deteriorating fast since he arrived," al-Dursi said. Asked how long al-Megrahi could still have to live, he answered: "Only God knows when it will be over. But he is dying now."

Scottish officials released him from prison on August 20 on compassionate grounds due to his cancer, sparking an international uproar.

At the time, Scottish officials said doctors had determined al-Megrahi had less than three months to live.

Television footage on Britain's Channel 4 that aired on Sunday showed al-Megrahi in the hospital, breathing through an oxygen mask and propped up by pillows.

Al-Megrahi was the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed all 259 people on board the plane and 11 people on the ground.


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