December 21, 2018 / 12:02 PM / a month ago

Prayers, tributes in Lockerbie mark 30 years since Pan Am bombing

Floral tributes left at the Memorial Garden in Dryfesdale Cemetery, are seen on the morning of the 30th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over the Scottish town on December 21, 1988, killing 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents on the ground, in Lockerbie, Scotland, Britain, December 21, 2018. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

LOCKERBIE, Scotland (Reuters) - A simple wreath-laying and prayer service in Lockerbie on Friday marked 30 years since a jumbo jet was blown up over the small Scottish town, killing 270 people.

Pan Am flight 103 exploded on its way from London to New York a few days before Christmas in 1988, killing all 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground. It is the deadliest ever militant attack in Britain.

Lockerbie, near the English border, with a population of just 4,000 people, has been synonymous with the tragedy ever since.

“Let us find hope and peace for all those who lost loved ones and who still carry the scars of this atrocity,” Jeff Brown, who directed the religious service, told those assembled.

The memorial service at Dryfesdale Cemetery was attended by Lord Lieutenant Fiona Armstrong, who conveyed a personal message from Queen Elizabeth.

“I send my prayers and good wishes to all those who will be marking this solemn anniversary,” she said.

Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing, along with others who were never identified, and was jailed for life in 2001.

Megrahi was later released because he was suffering from cancer. He died in 2012.

Writing by Elisabeth O'Leary; editing by Stephen Addison

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