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The attempt was orchestrated by General Mohamed Oufkir, a close advisor to King Hassan. On August 16, three Northrop F-5 jets, acting on Oufkir's orders, intercepted Hassan's Boeing 727 as it returned from France. They then opened fire on the 727. However, the F-5's guns were only loaded with practice ammunition and not missiles, lessening their effectiveness. One of the F-5 pilots also attempted to ram King Hassan's 727, but missed the jet. Reportedly, King Hassan (himself a pilot), grabbed the radio and told the rebel pilots, "Stop firing! The tyrant is dead!" Fooled, the rebel pilots broke off their attack.
Hassan's plane landed safely at Rabat's airport, which was strafed by air force jets, killing eight and injuring 40. Kenitra Airport, where most of the rebellious air force officers were from, was surrounded and hundreds arrested.
Oufkir was found dead of gunshot wounds later on August 16, ostensibly from suicide.
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