Diego Maradona being removed by the police from an apartment in Buenos Aires after he was arrested for the possession of 1/2 kilogramme of cocaine. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1991 - Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs, shocking the nation which had idolised their rags-to-riches hero. Police said Maradona, 30, was being held at drug squad headquarters after his arrest with two other men at a flat in a Buenos Aires suburb. He had been recently banned by the Italian soccer League from playing anywhere in the world for 15 months after traces of cocaine were found in a urine sample. Maradona, who had risen from a Buenos Aires slum to become one of the world’s highest paid and best known athletes, eyes glazed and head lolling, smiled at onlookers as he left the building supported by another man. Maradona appeared to be sobbing when he arrived at drug squad headquarters, where he is likely to be held over the weekend before bail can be considered. He was held in isolation in a jail cell and questioned by a federal judge on suspicion of cocaine possession and use.

Other important events

1828 - Russia declares war on Ottoman Empire.

1860 - Spain and Morocco sign a peace agreement.

1865 - John Wilkes Booth, assassin of US President Abraham Lincoln, is killed by troops in Virginia.

1937 - German planes bomb the town of Guernica during the Spanish civil war.

1925 - Paul von Hindenburg is elected President of Germany.

1942 - A coal mine disaster in Benxi, Japanese-occupied China, kills 1,549 workers.

1962 - First international satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1964 - African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.

1986 - The world’s worst nuclear accident occurs at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union.

1989 - Chinese students march to central Beijing to protest government statements condemning their campaign for democracy.

1990 - Leftist Colombian presidential candidate Carlos Pizarro is assassinated aboard a Colombian airliner.

1993 - An Indian airliner hits a truck on take-off and crashes in Aurangabad, India, killing 56 people.

1994 - Black South Africans vote for the first time in a resounding declaration that they are free at last.

1994 - Taiwanese airliner crashes in Japan, killing 264.

1996 - US peace-shuttle diplomacy finally brings a ceasefire to war-damaged Lebanon with a deal announced by Warren Christopher.

1999 - Top BBC television personality Jill Dando is murdered outside her London home.

2005 - Syria’s last soldier in Lebanon walks across the border.

2012 - Liberian ex-leader Charles Taylor is convicted of arming rebels during Sierra Leone’s civil war by the Special Court in The Hague.