October 13

This Day in History

General Interest

Oct 13, 1977:

Palestinians hijack German airliner

Four Palestinians hijack a Lufthansa airliner and demand the release of 11 imprisoned members of Germany's Baader-Meinhof terrorist group, also known as the Red Army Faction. The Red Army Faction was a group of ultra-left revolutionaries who terrorized Germany for three decades, assassinating more than 30 corporate, military, and government leaders in an effort to topple capitalism in their homeland.

The Palestinian hijackers took the plane on a six-country odyssey, eventually landing at Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 17, after shooting one of the plane's pilots. Early the next morning, a German special forces team stormed the aircraft, releasing 86 hostages and killing three of the four hijackers. Only one of the German commandos was wounded. The Red Army Faction's imprisoned leaders responded to the news later that day by committing suicide in their jail cell, in Stammheim, Germany.

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