Rome and Vienna airport attacks

Rome and Vienna airport attacks

Infobox terrorist attack
title = Rome and Vienna airport attacks

caption = The ticket counter in the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport after the attack
location = Rome, Italy and Vienna, Austria
target = Israeli targets in Leonardo da Vinci Airport (Rome) and Vienna International Airport (Vienna)
date = 27 December 1985
time = 9:15 am
timezone = UTC+1
type = direct assault on target; possibly attempted hijacking
fatalities = 18 civilians; 3 terrorists
injuries = 138 civilians; 1 terrorist shot and captured; 2 terrorists captured
perps = Abu Nidal Organization

The Rome and Vienna airport attacks were two major terrorist attacks carried out on December 27, 1985.

On that day at 08:15 GMT, four gunmen walked to the ticket counter of Israel's El Al Airlines and Trans World Airlines at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport near Rome, Italy, and opened fire with assault rifles and grenades. They killed 16 people and wounded 99 others before three of them were killed. The remaining one was shot and captured by police.

Minutes later, at the Schwechat Airport (Vienna International Airport) in Vienna, Austria, three terrorists carried out a similar attack. Hand grenades were thrown towards crowds of passengers queuing to check-in for a flight to Tel Aviv. The terrorists killed two people and wounded 39 others. The terrorists then fled the airport by car, and Austrian police gave chase. They killed one terrorist and captured the other two.

In all, the attacks killed 18, including a child, and wounded around 140. Reports said that the original plan of the gunmen was to hijack El Al jets from the airports and blow them up over Tel Aviv [] .

The attacks were first blamed on Palestine Liberation Organization, but its leader, Yasser Arafat, denied the accusations and denounced the attacks. Responsibility for the terrorist attack was later claimed by the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) who claimed it was in retaliation for Operation Wooden Leg, the Israeli bombing of PLO headquarters in Tunis on October 1. Libya was accused of funding the terrorists who carried out the attacks, but although they denied the charges they did praise the assaults.

External links

* [ BBC: "On This Day"]

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