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The Battle of Lalakaon

On September 3, in 863 AD, Amr Ibn Abdullah al-Aqta (the One-Handed), the Emir of Malatya, which is now in southeastern Turkey, was killed in a heroic fight in the Battle of Lalakaon (in northeastern Turkey) with a huge Byzantine army that encircled his force of 8,000 Muslims, while he was returning from a successful expedition to the Black Sea port of Amisos. He was a thorn in the side of the Byzantines for over three decades, opening the way for the spread of Islam in Anatolia, and had participated in the victorious Battle of Dazimon in 838 under the Iranian Abbasid general, Afshin.
In the 840s, he provided shelter to the surviving members of the Paulician sect of Christianity, who were fleeing persecution from the Greek Orthodox Church of Byzantium. In 844, Amr participated in another decisive victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Mauropotamos.
In the 850s, he often joined forces with Ali Ibn Yayha al-Armani, the Emir of Tarsus and decisively defeated Byzantine Emperor Michael III. Though he was unable to stop a raid in 856 by Petronas deep into Muslim territory, all the way to Amida, he teamed up with the Paulician Christians in 860 inflict a major defeat on the Byzantines deep into Anatolia where he reached the Black Sea port of Sinope.
His death three years later was a relief to the Byzantines. His reputation, however, lived on, and a literary tradition grew around his exploits, which became especially popular a couple of centuries later, among the rising power of the Seljuq Turks in Anatolia.

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