Two Palestinian guerrillas who murdered four airline passengers and injured twenty-eight in an airport attack two years ago escaped from their Istanbul jail on Tuesday, (9 January).
Two Palestinian guerrillas who murdered four airline passengers and injured twenty-eight in an airport attack two years ago escaped from their Istanbul jail on Tuesday, (9 January). The Palestinians launched a gun and grenade attack on Istanbul's Yesilkoy airport departure lounge in August 1976.
SYNOPSIS: Photographs of the escaped guerrillas, Mehdi Mohamed Zilh and Hussein Al Rashid featured in many Turkish newspapers on Wednesday (10 January). Police are searching Istanbul for the escapees.
The attack at Yesilkoy airport took place just five weeks after the Israeli raid on Uganda's Entebbe airport, where more than one hundred hostages were snatched from pro-Palestinian guerrillas and Ugandan troops. The four who died included an Israeli, a senior aide to a United States Senator and a Japanese tour guide. One person was so badly mutilated that identification was impossible. The dead and injured had been waiting to board an Israeli, El Al flight for Tel Aviv when they were killed.
After the surrender of Mehdi Mohamed Zilh and Hussein Al Rashid the two men were quoted as saying that they had carried out their mission and did not feel sorry.
Authorities at Sagmalicar Prison, one of the largest in Istanbul are still investigating how the two men managed to cut through the bars of the cubicles where prisoners and visitors meet.
Since the escape, security at the jail has been tightened up.
Visitors to the jail are now subjected to close inspection. After cutting through the bars of the visitors cubicle, the Palestinians escaped from the jail by mingling with visitors. Three Turks who tried to escape with them were caught in the grounds of the prison.