Database of terrorist attacks and related events--Johnston's Archive

Mecca, Saudi Arabia--20 November 1979

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last modified 26 November 2017

Date: 20 November 1979

Location: Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Type of event: terrorism


Up to 500 armed gunmen occupied the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of worshippers hostage. Many of the gunmen were connected to Saudi security forces. Saudi troops stormed the mosque on 4-5 December. Hostage casualties included 26 killed and 109 injured; among Saudi soldiers, 127 were killed and 451 injured. At least 87 of the gunmen were killed and at least 40 injured; of those taken into custody, 67 were later simultaneously executed.

Consequences: 240 killed, 600 injured


© 2017 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 26 November 2017.
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