Following is a list of the high-profile hostage abductions that have occurred worldwide:
Sep 5, 1972: Members of Palestinian group Black September killed two Israeli athletes and seized nine others at Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany, during the Summer Olympics. Nine hostages, five militants, one German officer died in botched rescue.
June 27, 1976:Palestinian and Baader-Meinhof militants forced Air France jet to land at Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli army rescued 103 hostages from airport terminal in battle with terrorists and Ugandan troops; 32 killed in all.
Nov 4, 1979: Iranian radicals seized US embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage; 52 were held until January 20, 1981.
Nov 20, 1979:200 Islamic terrorists seized Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and held hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi forces retook mosque Dec 4, about 250 died.
Oct 23, 2002: Chechen guerrillas seized theatre in Moscow, held 700 hostages; Russian authorities gassed theatre; most guerrillas and about 128 hostages were killed.
Sep 1, 2004: Militants seized school in Beslan in North Ossetia, Russia; held 1,000 plus hostages for 3 days before Russian troops stormed school. About 330 killed, including 27 hostage-takers. Blamed on Chechen militants.