March 3, 2009 / 10:07 AM / in 9 years

TIMLINE-High-profile attacks on athletes

(For related story see PAKISTAN SRILANKA/SHOOTING or click on [ID:nSP481570])

March 3 (Reuters) - Six Sri Lankan cricketers and their British assistant coach were wounded when gunmen attacked their bus as it drove under police escort to a stadium in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Tuesday, officials said.

Six people were killed in the attack by unidentified gunmen, the most high-profile attack on international athletes in years. Here are some previous attacks on athletes.

2006, July 16: Iraq Olympic chiefs and aides kidnapped

-- Up to 50 gunmen seize about 30 Iraqi sports officials, including the national Olympics chief Ahmed al-Hadjiya, and their bodyguards, in a brazen daytime raid on a central Baghdad hall.

-- Two bodyguards were killed by the kidnappers, who were wearing blue camouflage uniforms used by the Interior Ministry.

-- Six officials were freed a day after being snatched, but a year later most had not been found.

-- Athletes have become frequent targets in Iraq, often by Islamist militants who regard sport as contrary to Islamic values.

2006, May 26: Iraq national tennis players, coach, killed

-- Gunmen shot and killed the coach of Iraq’s national tennis team and two of his players in the capital, Baghdad.

-- The motive for the attack was unclear. However witnesses said the three were dressed in shorts, and were killed days after militants issued a warning forbidding the wearing of shorts.

2006, May 17: Iraqi martial arts experts abducted, killed

-- About fifteen athletes and officials from a taekwondo martial arts squad were kidnapped from a highway in western Iraq as they travelled for a training course in Jordan.

-- The decomposed bodies of at least 13 of the squad were found in the desert in June 2007.

-- Sportsmen had become targets of Iraq’s mounting violence, some apparently by increasingly powerful Islamist militants who believe sport is contrary to Islamic values.

1993, April 30: Tennis player Monica Seles stabbed in Germany

-- A deranged fan of then no. 2-ranked Steffi Graf who wanted to see her reclaim the top ranking stabbed the then number one Monica Seles in the back during a quarter final match in Hamburg.

-- The image of a shocked and sobbing 19-year old Seles being helped off court with a towel held against her bleeding back stunned a global television audience.

-- Yugoslav-born American Seles, who won eight grand slam titles between 1990-93, won only one grand slam title since making her comeback in 1995. 1972, Sept 5: Black September attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics

-- Led to the deaths of 11 Israelis, one German policeman and five of the eight attackers.

-- Eight guerrillas from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) splinter group Black September raided the Israeli team’s quarters in the Olympic village.

-- They killed an Israeli weightlifter and a wrestling coach almost immediately, took nine athletes and officials hostage and demanded the release of more than 200 prisoners held in Israel.

-- Later at Munich’s military airport, from where the guerrillas were hoping to leave Germany, police opened fire and a gunfight erupted. All nine hostages were killed in two helicopters where they were being held, and five of the gunmen and a policeman also died.

Source: Reuters

(Compiled by Gillian Murdoch; Editing by Valerie Lee)

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