35th year  -  N° 301                 Tuesday, 27 October 2020         Antwerpen		
Die Kleinen und die Bösen
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Tuesday 30th of May 1972

48 years ago

26 Die and 80 are injured when Okamoto, Tsuyoshi Okudaira, and Yasuyuki Yasuda from the Communist militant group the Japanese Red Army open fire in the passenger terminal in Lod International Airport, Tel Aviv, Gush Dan, Israel.

The members of the Japanese Red Army were recruited by the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The attackers arrived at the airport aboard an Air France flight from Rome. Dressed conservatively and carrying slim violin cases, they attracted little attention. As they entered the waiting area, they opened up their violin cases and extracted Czech Vz 58 assault rifles with the butt stocks removed. Immediately afterwards, they began to fire indiscriminately at airport staff and visitors, which included a group of pilgrims from Puerto Rico, tossing grenades as they changed magazines. Yasuda was shot dead by one of the other attackers, and Okudaira moved from the airport building into the landing area, firing at passengers disembarking from an El Al aircraft before being killed by a prematurely exploding grenade. Okamoto was shot by security, brought to the ground by an El Al employee, and arrested as he attempted to leave the terminal.

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