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Libya Vows To Defy Air Travel Ban

Libya said Sunday it would defy U.N. restrictions on its air travel by flying Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The U.N. sanctions ban air travel to and from Libya, limit diplomatic contacts and bar the sale of aircraft parts, among other things.

Libya has been under the sanctions since 1992 for refusing to hand over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people in 1988.

Muslims are required to go to the holy city of Mecca on a pilgrimage known as hajj at least once in their lives, if they can afford it. This year, The hajj will culminate near the end of April.

The official JANA news agency reported Sunday that Libya “does not accept and does not ask anyone to give any permission to its citizens to undertake the sacred pilgrimage.”