Hijacking by terrorists. Algeria 1994.
Christmas Eve 1994 years. The aircraft company "Air France"Algeria was approaching airport. It was a morning flight from Paris to the former French colony, located in the north of Africa. He served Airbus A300 with a crew of 12. They had an unusual landing, because in Algeria civil war. Even near the airport fierce fighting.
Waitress: Because of the terrorist threat in Algeria flew only volunteers. We deliberately took risks.
The captain of the aircraft, flying from 8969, was Bernard Dellemm - an experienced pilot. The aircraft did not have to stay in Algeria. It was expected that to refill and take on passengers who fly to France. In general, passengers were Algerians, however, there were many French, who did not want to stay in an African country.
Three years earlier, the elections in Algeria defeated the Islamic fundamentalists, who hoped to create an Islamic state. But after the military seized power and arrested their leader. Since then, Algeria was in chaos.
When the landing has ended, suddenly armed men on board went. They introduced themselves as police officers, and said it would be made an additional verification of documents.
Stewardess: These people were armed to the teeth. This was unusual.
8969 flight delay caused suspicion among the military. They sent to the aircraft Algerian special forces in several vehicles. When one of the so-called police saw the car approaching, he shouted, "wrong!". All passengers immediately realized that armed men were terrorists.
People seized the plane said they were Muslim extremists. They also said that all costs were ready to make Algeria an Islamic state. Capturing terrorists aircraft It was part of the plan. Extremists have acted decisively and were ready to blow up the plane. Their leader was a famous assassin 25 years. The news of the seizure of the aircraft spread rapidly, and in Algeria gathered reporters. French Prime Minister broke off his Christmas vacation. It was an international crisis. Below you can see information about the the seizure of the aircraft. Video.
Capture video and Aircraft
At this time, the terrorists took the form of the crew and changed it to mislead the snipers. They also ordered all the women in the plane of the head cover.
Passenger: violate Islamic customs. On the plane, men and women have one toilet, sat across from each other. And most importantly, the women sat with their heads uncovered. This led to the terrorist leader rage.
Two hours after hijacking terrorists They reported that they wanted to talk with the Algerian military. They stated that they intend to fly to Paris and hold a press conference there. However, the plane could not move. To it brought the passenger gangway. Police also blocked the runway machines. The hijackers demanded the immediate release of the runway, but she was refused. Position Algerians was clear: no concessions. All the same, it was a dangerous position, and soon the authorities are convinced of this.
The terrorists were going to send a message to the authorities of Algeria. Looking through the passport, they found among the passengers of the Algerian police. They raised it, brought to the open door of the plane and shot him in the head. So the terrorists identified the seriousness of their intentions.
Captain: The first one they let in the cockpit, was a flight attendant. She offered us water. She also whispered in my ear: "They killed a passenger." I was shocked.
Passengers of the plane seen in the windows Algerian special forces. They are afraid that they will go to the assault. French Interior Minister knew how the Algerian special forces.
Minister: Algerian special forces prepared us. It was risky to leave the airplane in Algeria. We know that the Algerians are able to take a plane by storm. However, we knew that would be a lot of blood spilled.
Algerian military still were determined. But the terrorists to raise rates. They chose from among the typical alien passengers. The choice fell on the year 48 Vietnamese. He was a diplomat - an employee of the Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria. The invaders ruthlessly killed him and threw the body of the aircraft.
Captain: The stewardess came back to our cabin with water. Pouring it into glasses, she whispered that killed a second passenger. Then I realized that the situation is very serious.
The situation remained a stalemate. Neither side wanted to concede. And at this time in Paris conferred alarmed French leaders. They believed that their special forces were able to neutralize the terrorists. But the Algerians refused to let into the country of foreign military to solve their problems.
The Prime Minister: I bluntly asked the Algerian authorities to allow the plane to fly to Paris. After all, it was a French plane, which belonged to "Air France". Although most of the passengers were Algerians, there were dozens of French. That is why the problems have been solved, we have to.
Capture of the aircraft in Algeria
It was getting dark. The plane «Air France» was lit by spotlights. Its passengers were already 7 hours hostages. Panic gave way to the first minutes of tense calm. Not everyone knew that two of the passengers killed. The crew did everything possible to resolve the situation.
Captain: In such situations, the crew must remain calm. It was necessary to look for an approach to these people. Capturing terrorists aircraft always goes aggressively. But then it is important to gain time and to appease these people.
As a result of long negotiations was released 63 person. These were some of the women and children. But Algerian authorities still did not release the aircraft. About two o'clock in the morning for the first time the captain was able to go to the salon. He saw that the two terrorists were sleeping. One remained in the cockpit. One kept watch at the tail of the aircraft.
Morning came. For the last night there have been some developments. The French government has decided to send its special forces as close to Algeria. They are located on the island of Mallorca.
SWAT commander GIGN: It was decided to transfer us to Mallorca. At our disposal we were given a plane "Air France". Exactly what was captured by terrorists. We also consulted an experienced flight crew, who knew perfectly the plane Airbus A300.
On the way to Mallorca French commandos have carefully studied the plane in case if they have to take it by storm. The Algerian authorities also do not sit idly by. They identified the leader of terrorists. They brought to the airport by his mother, trying to influence it. However, the tactics only angered Algerian terrorist. Yahya was furious. He took a passenger from among the French and killed him. Also, the invaders said that if the authorities are inactive, they will continue to kill. Threats to take effect, and the Algerian authorities have conceded. After hours of waiting flight 39 8969 was given the nod to rise.
Stewardess: We are very glad that fly away from Algeria. It seemed that now will save us. (Capture of the aircraft in Algeria)
However, there was a problem. All this time in the tail of working auxiliary power unit, supplies electricity to the aircraft. She consumed 4 tons of fuel per day. Fuel to Paris would not be enough. Only Marseille, located on the southern coast of France.
Like the passengers, the crew had hoped that the worst was over. 6 December 3: 30 plane approached the airport of Marseille. No one on board did not know that French special forces had already arrived there with Mallorca and was preparing a decisive blow.
SWAT commander GIGNUsually, we come to the territory occupied by the enemy. But this time, the enemy invaded the territory that was under our control. This was the key to success.
For terrorists landing in France was a very important point. They hoped to refuel, take the products and fly on to Paris. The airport of Marseille was very dark. The plane deliberately set on the edge of the airfield. At this time the authorities have received disturbing information.
The Prime Minister: We have learned that the terrorists wanted to use aircraft to attack Paris. Information conveyed a reliable source, and we accepted it seriously. So we decided: the aircraft under any circumstances should not fly out of Marseille. We put the plane in a convenient place for us and began to play for time.
French Special Forces decided to take the enemy into submission. They knew that the terrorists are already tired, so in every way delay the negotiations. The hijackers demanded that the plane fill in 27 tons of fuel. However, to reach needed to Paris just 9 tons. Data that want to use the aircraft as a firebomb only confirmed.
Terrorists wanted to immediately fly to Paris to hold a press conference there. In this government said they did not have anywhere to go. All the foreign press had gathered in Marseille. Over time, the terrorists agreed to hold a press conference on board the aircraft, not realizing that it is part of an ingenious plan.
SWAT commander GIGN: This press conference was important because it allows you to move some passengers in the tail section of the aircraft.
Negotiators have asked that for the press conference, released the front parlor. In fact, they wanted to create a space that is needed to Special Forces during the assault. The terrorists did not know that the aircraft door can be opened from the outside.
The plane was in the Marseilles airport already 12 hours. SWAT terrorists knew how much was in the plane and where they were. They only waited for sunset to take advantage of the darkness. The invaders had no idea about it, and waited for the press. When the terrorists realized that no press is not, they were furious. They were ordered to overtake the plane directly under the terminal building. Thus, the plans of the French special forces have been violated.
SWAT commander GIGN: The situation greatly complicated. We are prepared to storm the aircraft, standing in a certain place. But suddenly it was distilled in another. I had to change the plan quickly.
The terrorists were angry. They were ordered to fill the aircraft to 17: 00. Then they threatened to blow up the plane. At this time, Major, commander of special forces, threw his people into new positions. They have had very little time to carry out the seizure of the aircraft.
SWAT commander GIGN: The plan was this: 3 30 ladder and man. Two groups of 11 people have entered the plane through the two rear doors. Then, through the front door on the right it was to break even 8 soldiers to capture cockpit.
The authorities were not going to let the plane from the airport. Although already 17: 00, no one ran the aircraft. Terrorists do not know what to do. They wanted to kill another hostage, but then changed their minds. Instead, the invaders through the open door started to conduct shooting indiscriminately at the airport.
Witness: One of the terrorists opened the cabin window and began firing at the control tower. We were shards of glass flew. We came under a hail of bullets. French Prime Minister gave to Major Favier, who commanded the special forces, a complete carte blanche. Special Forces decided to act immediately.
SWAT commander GIGNWhen the terrorists began shooting, there was a very dangerous situation. We have grounds for an armed assault. We used self-propelled passenger stairs.
Seeing the approaching cars, all on the plane realized that the assault began. Special forces managed to open the door of the aircraft. Just three groups of fighters stormed inside. Then began a fierce firefight. Terrorists fired at anyone who appeared in an airplane. Inside, whistling bullets and exploding grenades. Snipers have seen terrorists in the cockpit, however, could not shoot because the co-pilot was in the firing line. A few minutes later the second pilot took advantage of the confusion and terrorists jumped out of the cab window. He fell to the concrete and limping fled to a safe place. Snipers immediately jumped at the chance, and riot police started to storm the cockpit. At this time, from the rear of the aircraft passengers evacuated. The last terrorist in the cockpit shot back almost 20 minutes. Surprisingly, he did not harm the captain and flight engineer. In the end he was killed. Firefight lasted for a long time. It was released hundreds of bullets and dozens of grenades detonated. Fortunately, all the passengers and crew survived canoes.
The Prime Minister: On the carriage lay a special responsibility. They needed to rescue the hostages and the aircraft. I can say that they showed themselves from the best side.
From 30 9 special forces soldiers were wounded. But, in general, the operation was successful. From 161 passenger only a few minor injuries. All can sigh with relief.
For his courage all French commandos and crew members have received high awards. To summarize, we can say that it was an exemplary anti-terrorist operation. However, those who survived will never forget what they had to go through.
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