Gaddafi death prompts IRA victims tribute (UTV)

Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to the victims of Libya-funded IRA terrorism, following the death of ousted leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.
The dictator was killed in his home town of Sirte on Thursday, the country’s National Transitional Council confirmed, where he had been hiding from rebel forces.
He is said to have been shot in both legs and the head while trying to flee in a convoy which was targeted by Nato warplanes.
Acting Libyan prime minister Mahmoud Jibril said: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”
The news has been viewed as “significant” development by campaigners for victims of Libya-sponsored IRA violence in Northern Ireland.
They are seeking compensation for those who suffered as a result of weapons and bombs provided to the paramilitary outfit by Gaddafi in the 1980s.
Paying tribute, Mr Cameron said: “Today is a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi‘s victims.
“From those who died in connection with the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street, and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex.”
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who has lobbied on behalf of bereaved relatives, said the development will pave the way for the settlement of legal claims.
He hopes a multi-million pound pay-out from Libya for its role in providing weapons to the IRA during the Troubles will follow.
“Hundreds of people, even thousands of people, have had their lives destroyed as a result of these weapons by the IRA so today is significant,” Mr Donaldson told UTV.
“This now clears the way for what we hope will be the conclusion of our negotiations with the new government to settle the legal claims which have been made by a small number of IRA victims.
“We will be pressing for the establishment of a fund to assist the wider group of victims who suffered as a result of Gaddafi’s sponsorship of the IRA and his arming of the IRA during the earliest years of the troubles.”
News of the toppled dictator’s death was celebrated by NTC rebels in the streets of Sirte, after they captured the town following a two-month long siege.
Amid confusion on the ground, it was initially though Gaddafi had received gunshot wounds to the legs and taken into custody.
There were also reports that the man who ruled Libya for 42 years was discovered cowering in a concrete pipe, and begged not to be shot when he was found.
His apparent death brings a definitive end to the revolution which began with street protests in February and was supported by airstrikes by Britain and other Nato states.
Mr Cameron continued: “I am proud of the role that Britain has played in helping them to bring that about and I pay tribute to the bravery of the Libyans who helped to liberate their country.
“We will help them, we will work with them and that is what I want to say today.”


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