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Lockerbie bomber Megrahi has died in Libya

Hadeel Al Shalchi, REUTERS

The former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people has died, his brother said on Sunday. He was 59.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi died at home after a long battle with cancer. His health had deteriorated quickly overnight, his brother Abdulhakim told Reuters.

"He was surrounded by his family and died in his house," Abdulhakim said on Sunday.

Megrahi had been in and out of hospital for weeks and he was taken for an emergency blood transfusion in April.

He was held in a prison in the town of Greenock in western Scotland after he was tried and convicted for the bombing under Scottish law, although the trial was held in the Netherlands.

In November 2008, Megrahi's lawyers asked a court to free him on bail, saying he was suffering from advanced prostate cancer. He was later released from the Scottish prison on compassionate grounds and returned to Libya, a decision criticized by the United States.

Megrahi, who served as an intelligence agent during the rule of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, denied any role in both the bombing and suspected human rights abuses in his home country before Gadhafi's fall and death in a popular uprising last year.