Pakistan Army once saved Khana Kaba, the holiest place in the holy city Makkah, in 1979 when a group of militants led by Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaibi seized Khana Kaba for two weeks. The militants attacked the holiest place at the time of Fajr Prayer on 20th November, 1979 and several pilgrims were taken hostages.
It was shocking news for Islamic world when the Grand Mosque Khana Kaba was seized by the militants and during that process several guards lost their lives in cross firing. It was the second time when bloodshed occurred on the holy ground of Grand Mosque and pilgrims were taken hostages on Hajj.
Abdullah Hamid Mohammed Al-Qahtani was the leader of militants and he was the one who called the Muslims to obey him as redeemer of Islam. Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaibi, who led the seizure of Holy Kaba, declared his brother-in-law as redeemer of Islam and turned against ruling Al-Saud dynasty.
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.
SSG Commandos of Pakistan Army Saving Khana Kaba
Pakistan Army Clears Khana Kaba from Militants
SSG commandos of Pakistan Army cleared Khana Kaba and rescued thousands of hostages at in 1979 when a group of militants led by Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaibi seized the Grand Mosque. It all happened so quickly on the morning of 20th Novermber, 1979 that the security guards couldn’t do much to protect the place.
Once Khana Kaba, the holiest place of Muslims, was seized by the militants and thousands of pilgrims were made hostages, the militants declared Abdullah Hamid Mohammed Al-Qahtani the redeemer of Islam. They asked Muslims to obey him as Mahdi, the redeemer of Islam and during the assault executed innocent pilgrims.
The armed troops of Saudis tried to regain the Grand Mosque in several attempts but militants didn’t let them entered in the ground of holy place. The siege of Khana Kaba continued for almost two weeks until SSG commandos of Pakistan Army led by former army chief General Pervez Musharraf cleared the area from militants.
The strategy applied by the commandos to regain the Grand Mosque was quite successful and they rescued the hostage pilgrims without any bloodshed. The sharp shooters and snipers of militants held the key positions at the ground of Grand Mosque and they didn’t let any person entered from the gates.
SSG commandos entered in the Grand Mosque by using helicopters and pushed the militants into basement. That’s was the best chance to capture them without bloodshed at holy place. The captain of the commandos asked the Saudis to flood the basement. Once the basement flooded with water, they electrocuted it which made the militants unconscious.
All the militants including Abdullah Hamid Mohammed Al-Qahtani and Juhaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Saif al Utaibi were arrested alive and sent to imprisonment. The Khana Kaba was cleared within two hours and SSG commandos did wonderful job which won the hearts of every Muslim. It was one of the glorious moments of Pakistan Army.