25 Most Intense Hostage Situations Ever

Posted by , Updated on July 6, 2014

 For as long as men have been at each other’s throats they have been taking hostages. Although these days the standard response of most governments is that they do not negotiate with terrorists (the primary party responsible for international hostage scenarios in the world today), it doesn’t stop those with agendas from trying to twist politics in their favor through coercion. Here are the 25 most intense hostage situations ever.

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Operation Janbaz

Operation Janbaz

codename for the Pakistani Army General Headquarters attack, this was a hostage-rescue mission carried out by its SSG Division on October 10, 2009. It was implemented in response to the major escalation in Pakistan’s domestic insurgency. Ten gunmen in military uniforms open fired on the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan where the attack killed 9 soldiers and 2 civilians. The militants later on infiltrated the security buildings where 22 civilian and military officials were held hostage, resulting in the rescue operation: Operation Janbaz.

4

The Manila Hostage Crisis

The Manila Hostage Crisis

Otherwise known as “the Rizal Park hostage-taking incident,” this event happened when a dismissed Philippine National Police officer hijacked a tourist bus carrying 20 tourists from Hong Kong on August 23, 2010. Rolando Mendoza was a disgruntled Manila Police District officer who wanted to get his job back as he believed that he was unfairly dismissed. However, things took a turn for the worse when he saw his brother being arrested, which incited him to open fire. The bus driver managed to escape as the shooting began, which resulted in Mendoza’s end along with eight of the hostages, while others were injured. The MPD’s failure at a rescue attempt and the bungled shoot-out was watched worldwide via television and the internet leading both the Philippine and Hong Kong government to conduct their separate investigations, and a ‘black travel alert’ to the Philippines issued by the Hong Kong government.

3

laju Incident

laju Incident

This event, which took place in Singapore on January 31, 1974, occurred when four men armed with submachine guns and explosives assaulted the Shell oil refinery in Pulau Bukom to disrupt the oil supply from Singapore to other countries due to the oppression of the Arab masses in the Middle East. They were able to detonate 3 out of 12 explosives they were carrying but left minimal damage. They hijacked a ferryboat bound for Laju in an attempt to escape and held 5 of its crew members captive. After 8 days of negotiations, they agreed to release their hostages in exchange for safe passage to the Middle East.

2

Sabena Flight 571

Sabena Flight 571

On May 8, 1972, a Boeing 707 passenger plane with a scheduled flight from Vienna to Tel Aviv was hijacked by a group of two men and two women from the Black September organization. The flight, which was captained by an English pilot named Reginald Levy landed at Lod Airport where the hijackers separated the Jews from the non-Jews and sent them back to the aircraft. They also demanded for the release of 315 Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons. A rescue operation, codenamed “Operation Isotope,” by a team of 16 Sayeret Maktal commandos was carried out the next day killing the two men and capturing the two women hijackers.

1

The Amenas Hostage Crisis

The Amenas Hostage Crisis

On January 16, 2013, a group of al-Qaeda linked terrorists led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, captured 800 people at the Tigantourine gas facility in Amenas, Algeria. It resulted in the death of 39 foreign hostages along with an Algerian security guard, with 29 dead from the terrorist group. A total of 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreigners were freed, while three of the terrorists were captured when Algerian forces stormed the facility four days into the standoff.

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