A gun battle outside the Iraqi Consulate - General in Karachi, Pakistan, today (2 August) is the third violent incident in a week, and the fourth in the past month, involving Iraqis and taking place outside the bounds of the Arab world.
A gun battle outside the Iraqi Consulate - General in Karachi, Pakistan, today (2 August) is the third violent incident in a week, and the fourth in the past month, involving Iraqis and taking place outside the bounds of the Arab world. It appears to be a new development in the export of Middle East political feuds, which have previously been mostly derived from the struggle between the Palestinian extremists and Israel.
SYNOPSIS: Arab violence thrust itself to the centre of the world stage at the Munich Olympics in September 1972. Two members of the Israeli team were shot in their living quarters, and nine more taken hostage and shot at an airfield, where a gun battle broke out with West German police. The Palestinian "Black September" movement claimed responsibility. Five guerrillas and a German policeman also died.
"Black September" had been involved in an attack on the Jordanian Ambassador in London in December 1971. He was injured in the hand when his car was fired on.
Shortly after Munich, a wave of letter bombs turned up, addressed to Israeli Embassies in Europe and North America. An Embassy official in London opened one at his desk. It exploded, and he was killed.
More than 40 hostages, including a dozen ministers and high officials, were seized at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna in December 1975. Their six captors, who were flown out of the country, called themselves the "Arm of the Arab Revolution", and denounced any Arab state prepared to deal with Israel.
A new wave of violence began last New Year's Eve in London, when a bomb exploded in a car belonging to the Syrian Embassy. A Syrian diplomat inside and his driver were killed instantly, and several shops were damaged. There was no indication who had placed the bomb.
Four days later, a gunman walked into the London office of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, shot the organisation's principal representative in Britain at his desk, and escaped. The man who died, Mr. Said Hammami, was known among Palestinians as a moderate in his views.
The gun battle that developed at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus in February, when Egyptian commandos landed to free 11 hostages and the crew of a hi-jacked aircraft. The hostages had been taken by two Palestinians who had shot a leading Egyptian journalist, Youssef Sibai. The two gunmen have been condemned to death by a Cypriot court.
Three men with machine guns, who opened fire on Israeli-bound passengers at Paris Orly Airport in May were identified by French police as Palestinians. A new group claimed that the attack was revenge for Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon.
The murder of General al-Naif, a former Iraqi Prime Minister, in London three weeks ago, shifted the emphasis. This was followed last week by a grenade attack on the car of the Iraqi Ambassador in London; the shooting outside the Iraqi Embassy in Paris on Monday; and now the incident in Karachi, Iraq is known to back extreme Palestinian groups; it has a bitter dispute with Syria and internal political feuds. Any of these could be behind the latest outbreaks of violence. No claims of responsibility have yet been made.