Black Saturday (Lebanon)

On 6 December 1975, a Saturday, four young Christian Phalangists were assassinated on the Fanar (Matn) road in Beirut. In retaliation, Phalangists murdered hundreds of non-Christians. This set the capital town ablaze.[2][1] The ethnic cleansing of non-Christians was led by Joseph Saade; he was a Phalangist whose son was killed in Fanar (Matn) earlier during the day. The Phalangist set up a roadblock near the Port of Beirut, and proceeded to murder any passing civilian that was Muslim or Druze. At that time, a Lebanese identity card documented the holder's religion; this information was used by Phalangist's to identify non-Christians that were passing by the seaside area. It is estimated that more than 300 civilians were murdered in what was the first Ethnic cleansing of the Lebanese Civil War.[2]

Black Saturday Massacre
Part of the Lebanese Civil War
LocationBeirut, Lebanon
Coordinates33°44′N 35°27′E / 33.733°N 35.450°E / 33.733; 35.450Coordinates: 33°44′N 35°27′E / 33.733°N 35.450°E / 33.733; 35.450
DateDecember 06, 1975 (cc)
TargetLebanese Muslims, Druze and Palestinians in Lebanon
Attack type
Perpetrators Kataeb Party


  1. ^ a b Lebanese Civil War 6 December 1975 Saturday. Website liberty05. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b Tamimova, May (2018). "The Black Saturday Massacre of 1975: the discomfort of assembling the Lebanese civil war narrative". Contemporary Levant. 3 (2): 123–136. doi:10.1080/20581831.2018.1531531.

"On December 6, 1975,'Black Saturday,' Phalangists set up roadblocks on city streets, seized an estimated 350 Muslims, and murdered them. Muslims had been easily identifiable because Lebanese identification cards indicated religious affiliation. This was the first major massacre of civilians in the Civil War and started a vicious cycle of revenge and retaliation. From this point on, after combatants of each faction conquered territory from their rivals, they routinely killed civilians."