UTA Flight 772 explodes over Niger en route from Brazzaville,
Congo, to Paris.
Debris was scattered over 50 square miles of desert.
Western govts. claim the bombing was in retaliation for French
military aid to the
government of Chad, which at the time was fighting
came from 17 countries, including the U.S..
Bonnie Barnes Pugh, wife of the U.S. ambassador to Chad, was
France had the largest number of victims, 54, and took
the lead in keeping the case alive before the UN.
But, UTA 772 became known to victim groups as "the forgotten
because the case never received as much attention as the bombing
of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, 9 months before.
Six Libyans, including Gadhafi's brother-in-law, were convicted in absentia by
a French court in of bombing the UTA flight and sentenced to life in
Agreement signed by Moammar Gadhafi's
govt. to pay
only $33 million to families of the 170 people killed.