Victims of '72 Olympic attack remembered in Munich

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A commemoration ceremony was held at the Olympic Park in Munich on Monday morning to mark the 50th anniversary of the attack by Palestinian militants on the 1972 Munich Olympics in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz greeted Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Berlin on Monday, as the two prepare to join relatives of the 11 Israeli athletes killed in the attack by Palestinian militants on the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The leaders were marking the 50th anniversary of the attack.

The event comes days after an agreement that ended a long dispute over compensation.

The relatives of the victims will receive a total of 28 million euros (27.7m US dollars) in compensation, a significant increase from the initial 10 million-euro offer.

As part of the agreement, Germany has agreed to acknowledge failures by authorities at the time and to allow German and Israeli historians to review the events surrounding the attack. Relatives have accused Germany of failing to secure the Olympic Village, refusing Israeli help and then botching the rescue operation.

The day-long drama started unfolding before dawn on Sept. 5, 1972, when eight members of a Palestinian group called Black September clambered over the unguarded fence of the Olympic village.

They burst into the building where the Israeli team was staying, killing wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg and weightlifter Yossi Romano.

Some Israeli athletes managed to escape but nine were seized.

The captors demanded the release of more than 200 Palestinians held by Israel and two German left-wing extremists in West German prisons.

The attackers demanded a plane and safe passage to Cairo.

After a day of tense negotiations, the assailants and their hostages were allowed to leave aboard two helicopters for Fuerstenfeldbruck.

Sharpshooters at the airfield opened fire.

The attackers threw a grenade into one of the helicopters carrying hostages, which exploded, and shot the hostages in the other helicopter.

The compensation settlement includes payments already made.

Immediately after the attack, Germany made payments to relatives of the victims amounting to about 4.19 million marks (about 2 million euros or dollars), according to the country's interior ministry.

In 2002, the surviving relatives received an additional 3 million euros, Germany's dpa news agency reported.