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Nephew Says Policy Led to Reported Death

April 18, 1986

Undated (AP) _ The nephew of Peter Kilburn said today he blames U.S. policies in the Middle East for the death of his uncle, who had been abducted in Lebanon more than a year ago.

Tim Kilburn said he got word from the State Department today that his uncle’s body was one of three found near a mountain highway in Lebanon on Thursday. Two others have been identified as those of Britons.

″We’re on our way to war, as far as I can see,″ said Kilburn. ″The United States government’s answer to problems is to drop bombs.″

Peter Kilburn had been a librarian at American University in Beirut when he was kidnapped in December 1984. He had not been seen since, although Tim Kilburn said the family had heard from unidentified sources that he was still alive until this week.

Tim Kilburn said his uncle had been a longtime opponent of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

″He was not happy with the United States government,″ said Kilburn, 35, in a telephone interview from his home in Aptos, Calif., about 75 miles south of San Francisco. ″He felt much better over there. He didn’t support the American policy in the Middle East. ... He was outspoken to his friends, but he was not political.″

He said he was particularly close to his uncle because Peter Kilburn had lived with Tim’s family before moving to Lebanon more than two decades ago. Peter’s brother, Blake, lives in Tahiti.

Earlier today, on the ″CBS Morning News,″ Peggy Say, whose brother, Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, was abducted in Lebanon last year, was asked if President Reagan thought about the Americans held hostage there when he ordered the bombing of Libya.

″I don’t think he could have thought about it,″ she said. ″It was an act almost designed to blatantly put them in danger. And I think it’s something that the families have thought from the very beginning, that every time a crisis occurred the lives of these men seem to be discarded as of little or no importance.″

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