- 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
Rome, Italyand Vienna, Austria
target = Israeli targets in
Leonardo da Vinci Airport(Rome) and Vienna International Airport(Vienna)
27 December 1985
time = 9:15 am
type = direct assault on target; possibly attempted hijacking
fatalities = 18 civilians; 3 terrorists
injuries = 138 civilians; 1 terrorist shot and captured; 2 terrorists captured
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 AlAirlines and Trans World Airlinesat Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airportnear 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[http://www.tkb.org/Incident.jsp?incID=4453] .
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 NidalOrganization (ANO) who claimed it was in retaliation for Operation Wooden Leg, the Israeli bombing of PLOheadquarters in Tunison October 1. Libyawas accused of funding the terrorists who carried out the attacks, but although they denied the charges they did praise the assaults.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/27/newsid_2545000/2545949.stm BBC: "On This Day"]
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