The Games come under direct attack
The Munich Games were marked by unabated terrorism attack. On September 5, 1972 in the early hours of the morning (4:05am GMT), a group of eight Palestinians from the "Black September" movement infiltrated the Olympic village and proceeded to burst into Pavilion 31, where the Israeli team was staying in Connollystrasse.
Two Israeli athletes were killed, nine were taken hostage. The gunmen demanded the release of 200 members of their movement being held prisoner in Israel. They threatened to execute two hostages every hour if demands were not met to their satisfaction.
Postponement of competition
In the morning, the IOC released a statement: "The status quo of the Games has been interrupted by an assassination committed by terrorist criminals".
Competition was suspended - the first action of its kind during any Olympics - the village was surrounded by 4000 Munich police officers. The authorities in Jerusalem refused to give in to the group's demands and negotiations continued.
At night, following 11 hours of futile negotiating, the Munich authorities convinced the terrorists to leave for Cairo with the hostages on board a Boeing airplane, provided by Lufthansa.
Two helicopters left the village with the eight Palestinians and their nine hostages on board in the direction of the military airfield at Furstenfeldbruck, thirty kilometres from Munich.
Eighteen deaths in total
The drama erupted a few seconds after their arrival on the runway. Bavarian police led the attempted rescue. At first, snipers shot dead three terrorists.
In the ensuing events, nine hostages were killed, as well as a further two of the eight terrorists, a German police officer and one of the helicopter pilots.
Overall, the incident caused eighteen deaths - an outcome which, after thirty hours of anguish and anxiety, sent shock waves around the world.
The three surviving Palestinians were arrested. They would be liberated following the detour of their flight on October 29, 1972.
The Palestinian leader at the time, Abou Daoud accepted, for the first time in 1995 responsibilty in his book, "Munich: the truth", that he was ultimately responsible for the attack.
The Games resumed after 34 hours of interruption, after IOC president Avery Brundage declared, "The Games must go on".
The Israeli deaths (two wrestlers, two weightlifters, an athlete, two referees and four coaches): Mark Slavin (18), Elizer Halfin (24), David Berger (28), Zeev Friedman (28), Yaacov Springer (52), Yossef Gootfreund (40), Kehat Shoor (53), André Spiter (30), Amitzour Shapiro (30), killed at the airport on the evening of September 5, 1972. Moshe Weinberg and Yossef Romano fell victim to machine-gun fire in their dormitory the same morning.
Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.