AP News

From Munich to Beslan, hostage rescues turn deadly


Algeria said Saturday that at least 19 hostages and 29 militants have died in a standoff between Islamists who stormed a natural gas plant deep in the Sahara, and special forces trying to drive them out. Here's a look at some previous standoffs that ended in significant bloodshed:

—MUNICH, 1972: Eleven members of Israel's Olympic team were killed after being taken hostage by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Games. Two hostages were killed as the Palestinian "Black September" group raided the Olympic village; the remaining nine died amid a botched rescue attempt by German police.

—TEHRAN, 1980: A U.S. special forces mission to rescue 53 American hostages from a bunker in Tehran, Iran, ended in failure and the deaths of eight servicemen. The mission had already been aborted due to bad weather and mechanical problems when a helicopter collided with a transport plane at a clandestine staging area near the Iranian capital.

—WACO, 1993: A 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, ended with a fire destroying the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in. Nearly 80 people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.

—MOSCOW, 2002: Russian counterterrorism forces stormed a theater where Chechen guerrillas were holding hundreds of people hostage. About 130 of the hostages were killed. Families say many of the victims died from a knockout gas pumped into the building before it was stormed. Russian officials have never accepted responsibility for the deaths.

—BESLAN, 2004: A hostage standoff in the southern Russian town of Beslan ended in a bloodbath as Russian commandos stormed a school seized by Chechen militants. More than 330 people were killed, about half of them children.


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