October 18, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Skyjackers Kill Pilot

Pope Paul six offered his life for the well-being of the hostages in the Lufthansa Boeing 737 in Mogadishu, it was learned

By: Editorials | Published:October 18, 2017 1:20 am
Forty Years Ago, Mogadishu airport, Lufthansa jetliner, Mogadishu Hostage, Mogadishu Hostage Issue, Skyjackers, Editorial News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Express front page forty years ago (File)

Skyjackers Kill Pilot

Four skyjackers holding 86 hostages aboard a Lufthansa jetliner at Mogadishu airport extended their deadline for the release of 13 guerillas jailed in West Germany and Turkey. Earlier, the skyjackers killed the plane’s chief pilot, 37-year-old Juergen Schumann and threw his body on to the runway at Mogadishu airport. Federal Republic of Germany’s Minister of State, Hans Juergen Wischnewski, was heading negotiations with the skyjackers of the Boeing 737. The four skyjackers twice postponed the deadline for their threats. The plane flew in to Somalia from Aden. The Iraqi News Agency correspondent in Aden reported that the pilot was shot during the flight. The pilot had at first refused to take off from Aden because the plane’s undercarriage was damaged on landing there, the Iraqi correspondent said. The airliner was skyjacked last Thursday by a gang of four over the western Mediterranean.

Pope Steps In

Pope Paul six offered his life for the well-being of the hostages in the Lufthansa Boeing 737 in Mogadishu, it was learned. In a telegram to Cardinal J. Hoeffner, head of the German Episcopal Conference, Pope Paul proposed to the skyjackers to personally take the place of their hostages.

Turkman Gate Probe

The fact-finding committee appointed by the Union government to look into the Turkman Gate firing has submitted its report. The committee also collected facts regarding demolitions. The report will be forwarded to the Shah Commission. Indira Gandhi said she was not against “defusing” the current crisis in the Congress. “I am always defusing a situation which is tense but, unfortunately, so many statements have been made in the past. These have led to the present situation,” she told the press. Asked whether senior leaders of the party could meet to sort out the differences, she said there was no difficulty in this.

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