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Libya to Pay Victims of Disco Blast

September 04, 2004|From Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya signed an agreement to pay $35 million in compensation to non-U.S. victims in the 1986 bombing of a Berlin discotheque.

The money will be distributed among 168 claimants: Germans who were wounded or suffered psychological injury and the family of a Turkish woman killed in the blast.

The April 5, 1986, bombing of La Belle disco in what was then West Berlin also killed two U.S. servicemen and wounded a total of 230 people.

Lawyers are seeking separate compensation in U.S. courts for American victims.

An executive of a foundation run by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's son signed the agreement with German lawyers representing the families of the victims. The compensation is to be paid within six months.

A Berlin court ruled in 2001 that the bombing was organized by the Libyan secret service and aided by the Libyan Embassy in then-communist East Berlin. It convicted four people of carrying out the bombing.

After the attack, then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan ordered airstrikes on the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, citing evidence that Libya was involved. Libya said 41 people died and 226 were injured in the strikes.

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