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Anger over UK police training Libyan officers - 21 Sep 09

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Published on Sep 20, 2009

A decision to send British police officers to train their counterparts in Libya has been described by the head of the UK police federation as "naive and insensitive".

The move has reignited anger over the unsolved murder of Yvonne Fletcher, a British police officer who was killed outside the Libyan embassy 25 years ago.

Fletcher's murder sparked an 11-day siege, which only ended when embassy staff - the killer among them - were allowed to leave Britain under the cover of diplomatic immunity.

Libya also supplied weapons and explosives to Republican groups in Northern Ireland during the troubles there, resulting in the deaths of several police officers.

The relationship between the two countries has been in the spotlight lately after Scotland's controversial release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer who was convicted and jailed for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The training programme, seen by some police officers in the UK as a "betrayal" of Fletcher and her relatives.

A reported possible meeting between Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at the United Nations on Thursday, could fuel complaints that the rapprochement between the two countries has gone too far.

Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher has more.

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