Operation Glory: How Pakistan SSG Clears the Holy Kaaba in 1979

The Grand Mosque Seizure on November 20, 1979, was an armed attack and takeover by armed Islamist dissidents of the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest place in Islam. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi, or redeemer of Islam, had arrived in the form of one of the insurgents’ leaders, Abdullah Hamid Mohammed Al-Qahtani and called on Muslims to obey him.

The seizure shocked the Islamic world as hundreds of pilgrims present for the annual hajj were taken hostage, and hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in crossfire were killed in the ensuing battles for control of the site. The siege ended two weeks after the takeover began with militants cleared from the mosque.

The Saudi government tried to regain Grand Mosque but couldn’t get success for two weeks and lost several troops in the operation as well. The militants group deployed sharp shooters and snipers at key places of Grand Mosque to stop any kind of assault from Saudi troops. The lives of thousands of pilgrims were at risk as well.

For two weeks none of the attempts to rescue the people got success which created chaos among Muslims of the world. The president of Pakistan General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq asked Saudis to let Pakistan Army do the operation as the whole world were eying on them as well. Saudis allowed him to regain the Grand Mosque.

After getting permission General Zia-ul-Haq chose few very competent SSG Commandos from Pakistan Army and sent them to Saudi Arabia. The commander of SSG commandos made a very brilliant strategy against the militants which worked really well for them. SSG commanders were deployed on the ground of Grand Mosque from helicopters and pushed the snipers and militants towards basement.

Once all the militants were pushed into basement of Grand Mosque, the commander of SSG commandos asked the Saudis to flood the basement. Once the basement was flooded, they electrocuted the water which made militants unconscious and all of them including the leaders were arrested by the commandos of Pakistan Army and finished the siege of Khana Kaba.

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