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1981 Antwerp synagogue bombing

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On October 20, 1981, a truck bomb exploded outside a Portuguese Jewish synagogue in the centre of Antwerp, Belgium. Three people were killed and 106 wounded.[2]

Antwerp bombing
Bomaanslag in Joodse wijk in Antwerpen; de auto waar de bom is geplaatst voor de synagoge.jpeg
LocationAntwerp, Belgium
Coordinates51°12′54.44″N 4°25′7.5″E / 51.2151222°N 4.418750°E / 51.2151222; 4.418750Coordinates: 51°12′54.44″N 4°25′7.5″E / 51.2151222°N 4.418750°E / 51.2151222; 4.418750
DateSeptember 20, 1981 (1981-09-20)
Attack type
Truck bombing, murder
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorsBlack September Organization[1]
MotiveAntisemitism, Palestinian nationalism


The explosion blew in the doors and stained-glass windows of the synagogue and smashed storefronts and windows for blocks around.[3] The bomb had been concealed in a delivery truck parked overnight with one wheel removed, as if it had broken down. After the blast, only the vehicle's axles, glass and other debris remained.[4]

The attack took place on a Tuesday morning in the diamond district of Antwerp, shortly before Simchat Torah religious services were to begin. It followed by one year the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing, which took place on the eve of Simchat Torah. The bombing was condemned as "diabolically wicked" by Belgian prime minister of the time, Mark Eyskens.[3]

The Palestinian terror group Black September claimed responsibility for the attack.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Palestinian guerrillas claim synagogue bombing". UPI. 21 October 1981.
  2. ^ "Jewish Targets: Recent Attacks". The New York Times. 1986-09-07.
  3. ^ a b Lewis, Paul (1981-10-21). "2 Killed By Bomb at Antwerp Synagogue". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Bomb Kills 3 in Antwerp". The Reading Eagle. 1981-10-20.