The brother of Manchester arena bomber Salman Abedi could be extradited to the UK by the end of the year, Libyan prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj has said.

Hashem Abedi was arrested in Libya shortly after the 2017 attack that killed 22 people, many of them children, as they left and Ariana Grande concert.  

Mr Sarraj denied that Libya had delayed Mr Abedi’s extradition and insisted his country was “fully cooperating” with British officials

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Legal procedures were reaching their conclusion, he said, adding that it was “only a matter of time” before Mr Abedi was returned to Britain.

“I think from here to the end of this year we will finish all the legal procedures in Libya,” he told the BBC. “We are fully cooperating because we understand the suffering of the families of the victims of this terrorist attack. We as Libyans also suffer here in Libya from attacks. So the subject is important for us.

“According to the general prosecutor we can extradite. After we complete the legal process in Libya, it is only a matter of time.”

Mr Abedi has been subject to a request for extradition by British authorities since November last year.

Greater Manchester Police want to arrest him for murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “The extradition proceedings are in progress and we are grateful to the Libyan Authorities for considering our extradition request. As proceedings are ongoing, it is essential that we respect the Libyan legal process and therefore we cannot provide any further detail at this time.”

The Abedi family, originally from Libya, fled during the Gaddafi dictatorship with the father returning to fight with opposition forces when the uprising began in 2011.

Both brothers travelled to Libya in April 2017, then Salman returned alone before carrying out the attack in Manchester.

He killed himself when he detonated an explosive device at the end of the concert, with 353 people, including 175 children, around him in the foyer of the venue.

As well as the 22 dead, 16 people suffered serious injuries including paralysis, loss of limbs, internal injuries, and serious facial injuries.

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