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In pictures: Iran hostage crisis
Disaster in the desert

A daring US military rescue operation codenamed Eagle Claw ended in further US humiliation in April 1980.

The plan was to land aircraft covertly in the desert allowing special forces to infiltrate Tehran and free the 52 hostages.

But the planning was flawed, and the mission had to be aborted when two helicopters were damaged in a sandstorm and failed to reach the rendez-vous point. Worse was to come when another crashed into a transport plane as it was pulling out.

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