Top Sri Lankan politician shot dead
1988 - Film star-turned-politician Vijaya Kumaranatunge was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen near his residence in Colombo. Kumaranatunge was shot in the face and the chest as he was talking to some men selling flower pots near the gate. The gunmen drove up to the house on a motorcycle and opened fire from two Chinese-made T-56 automatics before escaping. Kumaranatunge was pronounced dead on admission to hospital. His wife Chandrika, and the chief of joint operations command, Lt Gen Cyril Ranatunge, were the first to visit the hospital. The driver of a pick-up selling the flower pots gave chase to the motorcycle for a while, but gave it up later. Ten empty T-56 cartridges were found on the compound of the house. Bullet marks were also spotted on the guard-house at the entrance.
1923 - The burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s tomb is unsealed in Egypt.
1956 - Britain abolishes the death penalty.
1959 - Fidel Castro becomes premier of Cuba after the overthrowing of Fulgencio Batista.
1968 - The first 911 telephone emergency service in the US is inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.
1981 - A powerful explosion rips through a stairway behind the VIP grandstand at the Karachi National Stadium minutes before Pope John Paul II celebrates mass.
1983 - “Ash Wednesday” bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim more than 70 lives.
1986 - Arab Air ’86, the first air show, takes off in Dubai.
1989 - Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and North Yemen form common market.
1991 - Former Contra military chief Enrique Bermudez is assassinated outside downtown Managua hotel.
1992 - Israel kills a pro-Iranian Hezbollah leader Shaikh Abbas Musawi, in a helicopter raid which also killed his wife, six-year-old son and seven bodyguards.
1993 - A triple-decker ferry carrying 1,500-2,000 people capsizes and sinks off the Haiti coast, more than 1,200 die.
1994 - Greece declares a unilateral embargo on the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in a conflict over the use of the name Macedonia.
1998 - A China Airlines plane crashes near Taipei airport killing 203 people.
2002 - Dubai Government launches the Dubai International Financial Centre.
2003 - The Kalba-Wadi Al Helou tunnel, the longest mountain pass in the Middle East, is inaugurated.
2008 - Adventurer Steve Fossett is declared dead five months after he vanishes while flying a small plane.
2009 - Samsung launches the world’s first solar-powered mobile phone.
2012 - At least 14 Palestinian children are burnt alive when their school bus collides with a truck at the Jaba’a junction between occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank.
2013 - A remote-controlled bomb targeting Shiites kills at least 63 people in Hazara, Quetta, Pakistan.
2014 - A Nepal Airlines plane crashes and kills 15 passengers and three crew in the mountainous west part of the country.
2016 - Former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali dies at 93.