Iraqi youths throw stones at British soldiers during clashes in Basra. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

2003 - Riots broke out in the southern port of Basra as tensions exploded over the British control of Iraq’s second largest city, leaving seven soldiers and four Iraqi civilians injured. Residents hurled rocks and burned tyres in all the city’s main streets as Iraqis raged in the blistering summer heat over the tortoise-like pace of the coalition force’s reconstruction efforts. The rioting started minutes after a grenade was hurled at a British military truck near a gasoline station, where fed-up Iraqis waited in a long queue for fuel, angered by the fact they were queuing for hours in a country with the world’s second-largest oil reserves.

Other important events

1902 - Edward VII is crowned king of England following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

1940 - Estonia becomes a constituent republic of the Soviet Union.

1945 - US aircraft drops world’s second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.

1965 - Singapore proclaims its independence from the Malaysian Federation.

1976 - The Soviet Union launches its Luna 24 space probe to collect soil samples from the Moon.

1996 - Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, dies age 89.

1999 - Boris Yeltsin names ex-KGB spy Vladimir Putin as his heir.

2000 - Lebanese army returns to the south of the country for the first time in some 30 years.

2008 - Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish dies in a US hospital following heart surgery.

2012 - Jamaica’s Usain Bolt becomes the first man to win both the 100- and 200-metre race in two successive Olympics.