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Today in History: December 12, 2007 — Car bombs kill top army officer in Lebanon

December 12, 2007 — Car bombs kill top army officer in Lebanon

Image Credit: EPA
Lebanese security forces gather at the site of a car bomb attack that killed a Lebanese army general Francois El Hajj in Baabda near Beirut. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

December 12

1642 Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovers New Zealand.

1677 Denmark’s King Christian V is defeated by Swedish forces at Cassel, Germany.

1800 The capital of United States is moved from Philadelphia to Washington DC.

1804 Spain declares war on Britain.

1870 Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina takes his seat in the US House of Representatives, becoming the first black Congressman.

1894 Japanese troops invade Korea.

1899 African-American George Grant receives the first patent for a golf tee.

1913 The Mona Lisa is recovered in Italy, two years after it was stolen from the Louvre museum in Paris.

1915 The German Junkers J1, the first all metal plane, flies for the first time.

1920 Martial law is declared in Cork, Ireland.

1963 Kenya becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

1968 Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American to be ranked number one in tennis.

1975 Sara Jane Moore pleads guilty of trying to kill US President Gerald Ford.

1979 Rhodesia becomes the independent nation of Zimbabwe.

1984 Mauritania’s armed forces chief-of-staff, Colonel Mouawiya Ould Sidi Ahmad Taya, seizes power in a bloodless coup.

1985 A chartered DC-8 carrying US soldiers crashes on take-off from Gander airport, killing all 248 military personnel and eight crew on board.

1988 Three trains collide during morning rush hour in south London, killing at least 36 people.

1991 Former East German leader Erich Honecker is seeking refuge in the Chilean Embassy in Moscow.

1992 Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, marries Royal Navy commander Timothy Laurence.

1993 Jozsef Antall, first democratically elected Prime Minister of Hungary, dies.

1994 The Brazilian Supreme Court acquits former President Fernando Collor de Mello of corruption charges.

1996 India and Bangladesh share water of Ganges.

2000 Ethiopia and Eritrea sign peace pact.

2003 Paul Martin, Jr. becomes Prime Minister of Canada.

2005 Jibran Tueni, Lebanese journalist and politician, is assassinated.

2006 Prince Turki Al Faisal resigns as Saudi Ambassador to the US, after 15 months in the post.

2012 Khalifa Port is inaugurated in Abu Dhabi.

2013 Bangladesh executes Abdul Qader Mulla, 65, a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

2015 195 nations adopt historic Paris pact to stop global warming.



Car bombs kill top army officer in Lebanon

A powerful car bomb killed a top Lebanese army officer, sparking a chorus of condemnation and calls for a swift presidential vote. The first attack to target the military could further complicate the political crisis in Lebanon, analysts said. From Beirut to Washington officials insisted that the killing of Brigadier General Francois Al Haj by a car bomb should spur unity among politicians and help elect a new president quickly. The attack took place in the suburb of Baabda, site of the presidential palace, defence ministry and several embassies, a military spokesperson said. While no group claimed responsibility for the killing. Al Haj, 55, was the leading candidate to replace army chief General Michel Sulaiman, who is set to be elected Lebanon’s next president. However, analysts differed in their interpretation of the motives and the “parties” involved in the killing. Al Haj was the first figure to be murdered in the Lebanese army, which has preserved neutrality in the Lebanese political crisis.