Ta'if massacre

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Ta'if massacre
Part of Saudi conquest of Hejaz
Date 1924
Location Ta'if, Hejaz

Sultanate of Nejd conquers Ta'if

  • Hashemite forces capitulate
  • Ikhwan captured the city
    • Hundreds massacred

Flag of the Second Saudi State.svg Sultanate of Nejd

Kingdom of Hejaz
Commanders and leaders

Flag of the Second Saudi State.svg Abdulaziz Ibn Saud

Hussien bin Ali
Ali bin Hussien
Casualties and losses
300[1]-400 civilians massacred

The Ta'if massacre was an incident that followed the short 1924 Battle of Ta'if; the entire episode is also known as the al-Taif incident. The battle and resultant massacre comprised the first major standoff of the Second Hashemite-Saudi War. Following a short siege, the city was abandoned by Hashemite forces and then capitulated to the battle-ready Ikhwan force under the command of Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. The Ikhwan troops took out their rage on the residents of the city. In the resulting bloodbath, some 300-400 Ta'if residents were massacred.

Following the fall of Taif, Saud's forces moved on Mecca.


Ta'if was taken by the Hashemite forces in September 1916, during the Arab Revolt, and later incorporated into the Kingdom of Hejaz. Ta'if did not remain in Hashemite hands for very long however. Tensions between the King of the Hejaz, Husayn ibn Ali, and Abdulaziz al-Saud, Sultan of Nejd, soon broke out into violence. The hostilities were temporarily patched up in 1919, with truce signed in the aftermath of the First Hashemite-Saudi War.

Conquest and massacre[edit]

In late August 1924,[2] the Saudi-allied Ikhwan, under the leadership of Sultan bin Bajad and Khaled bin Luwai were ready to attack Ta'if. The city was supposed to have been defended by the king’s son, Ali, but he fled in panic with his troops.

The unprotected city was quickly breached by the Ikhwan on September 3, who went on a rampage through the city. In the resulting massacre,[3] some 300[1] to 400 of Ta'if residents were killed.


Following the fall of Ta'if the Saudi forces moved to conquer Mecca, Medina, and eventually Jeddah, which fell in December 1925, completing the conquest of Hejaz. In 1926 Abdulaziz al-Saud was officially recognized as the new king of Hejaz. Ta'if remained a part of the Kingdom of Hejaz until Abdulaziz al-Saud unified his two kingdoms into one under the title of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

The king would later die in the city on 9 November 1953.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b David Holden in The House of Saud
  2. ^ Nadav Safran (1988). Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security. Cornell University Press. p. 47. ISBN 9780801494840. Retrieved 2015-02-04. 
  3. ^ Niblock, T. (1982). State, Society, and Economy in Saudi Arabia. Croom Helm. p. 88. ISBN 9780709918066. Retrieved 2015-02-04.