At the Foreign Office, L-R, are David Wayne from Northern Ireland, Ihsan Bashir, brother of Canary Wharf newsagent killed in 1996, campaigner Jonathan Ganesh, Christabel Koffi, daughter of injured cleaner Barbara Kofi, and Willie Frazer who set up Families Acting for Innocent Relatives

Libya deal close over Gaddafi-sponsored IRA Canary Wharf bombing

Thursday, March 22, 2012
8.39 PM

Families in east London who fell victim to the IRA bombing at Canary Wharf 16 years ago have been told by the Foreign Office today that Libya’s transitional government is ready to deal with compensation claims.

Two men died and scores of others were injured when the IRA detonated a lorry packed with Libyan Semtex at South Quay Plaza in February, 1996, which wrecked the business district and Millwall’s Barkantine Estate close by.

A delegation from the Docklands Victims’ Association was joined by Northern Ireland families at the Foreign Office in Whitehall this-afternoon to be given details of negotiations with the Tripoli authorities.

“The Libyans know what it’s like being victims of the Gaddafi regime,” said the association’s Jonathan Ganesh. “Gaddafi’s final insult before he was toppled was compensation for America’s victims—but not those in East London or Northern Ireland.”

The former Canary Wharf security guard, who was injured in the explosion, was at the Foreign Office with Willie Frazer, founder of Northern Ireland’s Families Acting for Innocent Relatives.

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed David Cameron’s statement earlier this year that seeking compensation was high on the government’s agenda and said it would continue supporting the campaigners.

The two who died at Canary Wharf were newsagent Inam Bashir, 29, and musician John Jeffries, 24, who was working for him. Another 50 office workers were injured, as well as residents on the Barkantine Estate including two children.