Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Thursday, 30 December, 1999, 15:19 GMT
History of hijacking

Pakistani officials captured three hijackers of a Pakistan International Airlines in May 1998


The longest-ever hijacking ordeal happened in 1968, when passengers from an El Al plane were held for 40 days after Palestinian militants forced a flight from Rome to divert to Algiers.

The Algerian authorities held 22 hostages, releasing the final 12 only after a boycott by international pilots.

In 1970, Palestinian gunmen forced three planes with a total of 400 people on board to fly to the Jordanian desert.

The hijackers blew up the empty planes - from the United Kingdom, United States and Switzerland - after releasing most of the hostages. After 24 days of talks, the final hostages were freed in exchange for seven Palestinian prisoners.

One American was killed and 39 held for 17 days in 1985, when Lebanese Shi'a gunmen diverted a TWA flight from Athens to Beirut with 153 people on board. The stand-off ended after Israel freed 31 mostly Shi'a Lebanese prisoners.

Two Kuwaitis were killed in 1988 when Shi'a gunmen hijacked a Kuwait Airways jumbo from Thailand and forced it to fly to Algiers with more than 110 people on board. The hijack ended after 16 days, with the hijackers freeing the remaining hostages and being allowed to leave Algiers.

In 1981, a Pakistan International Airlines was hijacked and taken to Kabul. One passenger was killed before the plane flew to Damascus. The hostages were finally released after 13 days when the Pakistani Government agreed to free more than 50 political prisoners.

Raid at Entebbe

The week-long hijack of an Air France airliner in 1976, was brought to an abrupt end at Entebbe Airport, Uganda, by Israeli commandos.

They killed all the hijackers - who were Palestinian - and freed 105 Israeli and Jewish hostages, but three passengers and one commando died in the raid.

Negotiators had secured the release of about 150 people before the plane reached Uganda.

Two US passengers were killed in 1984 after Shi'a gunmen diverted a Kuwait Airways flight to Tehran. The stand-off ended after six days when Iranian security forces disguised as cleaners stormed the jetliner.

German commandos stormed a Lufthansa airliner in Mogadishu in 1977 after a five-day ordeal in which Palestinian guerrillas killed the pilot. Three hijackers died in the raid and 86 hostages were freed.

Egyptian raids

In 1978, Egyptian forces flew in to Larnaca, Cyprus, uninvited to try to take a plane seized by Arab militants. Cyprus National Guardsmen resisted them and 15 Egyptians died in a 45-minute battle.

Fifty-nine people died in 1985 when Egyptian commandos stormed an EgyptAir plane seized by Palestinians.

In 1986, Pakistani security forces stormed a Pan Am Boeing 747 carrying 400 passengers and crew after a 16-hour siege. Twenty-two people died.

Singaporean commandos shot dead all four hijackers who had seized a Singapore Air flight in 1991.

Two hijackers and a woman passenger were killed in 1993, when security forces stormed a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines plane in eastern Ethiopia.

Pakistani officials posing as Indians captured three hijackers of a Pakistan International Airlines plane at Hyderabad airport in May 1998. All 29 hostages were freed.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
South Asia Contents

Country profiles

See also:
20 Aug 98 |  South Asia
Pakistani hijackers to hang
10 Aug 99 |  Americas
Venezuelan hijack passengers released
23 Jul 99 |  Asia-Pacific
Japanese hijacker kills pilot
30 Dec 99 |  South Asia
Hostage returned to hijack plane
Links to other South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories