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Libya Planning Return of Body of U.S. Flier

Associated Press

The Libyan government said Thursday that it will hand over today the body of a U.S. Air Force officer killed in the 1986 raid on Tripoli, the North African country’s official news agency reported.

The body, believed to be that of the weapons system officer, Capt. Paul Lorence, 31, of San Francisco, is to be given to a Vatican representative.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro confirmed Thursday night that the Holy See has agreed to act as an intermediary in the case “for humanitarian reasons.”

In Washington, a State Department official said U.S. officials will make every effort to confirm the identity of the remains if and when they are returned.

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Navarro said that the papal representative in Tripoli would accept the body. It would likely be brought to Rome and turned over to the U.S. Embassy, he said, adding that he did not know when the transfer would take place.


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