LONDON – Britain, the United States and Libya on Saturday issued a joint call for justice over the Lockerbie bombing as services were held to mark the 25th anniversary of the attack, which claimed 270 lives.
The three governments gave their “deepest condolences” to relatives of those who died when Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, en route from London to New York.
All 259 people on board — most of them Americans heading home — were killed, as well as 11 people on the ground.
“We want all those responsible for this most brutal act of terrorism brought to justice, and to understand why it was committed,” the governments said in a statement. “We are committed to cooperate fully in order to reveal the full facts of the case.”
Only one person has ever been convicted over the bombing — Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a Libyan who died last year while still protesting his innocence.
Scottish leader Alex Salmond was among the mourners who laid wreaths Sunday at Lockerbie’s Dryfesdale Cemetery, which houses a memorial to the victims.
“On this 25-year anniversary, and as the country prepares once more to relive the harrowing events of that terrible night, it is important that we remember that the pain and suffering of the families and friends of those who died has endured since that winter night in 1988,” Salmond said.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Scottish officials attended a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.
“We will always remember the heartache, the devastation and the pain that was etched into our collective memory on the 21st of December, 1988,” Holder said.
“We keep calling for change and fighting for justice, on behalf of those no longer with us.”
Syracuse University in New York, which lost 35 students in the bombing, also held a remembrance ceremony during which a peace prayer was read.
Hundreds of mourners, including senior politicians and friends and families of victims, gathered at London’s Westminster Abbey.
Jim Swire, who lost his daughter, Flora, in the attack, called on those present to pray for al-Megrahi’s family.
“Over Christmas, if you pray, please pray for his innocent family, but also for all those who wrestle with hatred, that they may be healed by God’s love,” he said.
“Please pray also that we who will sit down at a Christmas table with chairs forever empty may find peace.”