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Canary Wharf's Gaddafi-IRA victims lay wreaths at Libyan Embassy commemoration of Yvonne Fletcher murder

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 April 2019

Wayne Gruba, Docklands Victims Association director, lays wreath at Yvonne Fletcher memorial in St James's. Picture: DVA

Wayne Gruba, Docklands Victims Association director, lays wreath at Yvonne Fletcher memorial in St James's. Picture: DVA

DVA

Victims of the IRA Canary Wharf bombing 23 years ago joined the 35th anniversary ceremony for Wpc Yvonne Fletcher's murder outside the Libyan embassy.

Ihsan Bashir (centre)... Ihsan Bashir (centre)... "I have sympathy for Yvonne Fletcher's family, having lost my brother at Canary Wharf to a despicable act of Gaddafi and IRA terrorism." Picture: DVA

Floral tributes were laid at yesterday's ceremony by the Docklands Victims Association, which has been campaigning for compensation from the Libyan authorities responsible for supplying Semtex explosives to the IRA.

Yvonne was on duty outside the embassy at St James's Square on April 17, 1984, when a gunman inside fired into a crowd of anti-Gaddafi demonstrators.

The Libyan dictator continued links with the IRA for several years which led to the Canary Wharf bombing in February 1996 that killed two men and injured 50 people.

One of the men who died was Inam Bashir who ran a newsagents next to the Midland Bank HQ where the bomb exploded outside.

Inam's brother Ihsan said at yesterday's service: “I have tremendous sympathy with Wpc Fletcher's family, having lost my brother to a despicable act of Gaddafi and IRA terrorism.”

Yvonne's death led to a siege of the embassy lasting 11 days, resulting in Britain severing diplomatic relations with Libya.

But Gaddafi's links to the IRA continued, with more atrocities such as Harrod's and Regent's Park, as well as bombings at Canary Wharf and St Ethelberga's church in Bishopsgate.

The Libyans finally admitted responsibility in 1999 for Yvonne's murder and paid compensation.

But 20 years on, there is still no compensation for survivors and families caught up in the 1996 Canary Wharf bombing with Gaddafi's Semtex explosives.

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