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1996 - At least three people were feared dead and eight have been injured after a bomb exploded on a double decker bus in the heart of London. The front of the bus was destroyed by the force of the blast in the Aldwych area. Britain urged Northern Ireland’s Protestant extremists to stay calm after a suspected IRA bomb blew apart the London bus in the third guerrilla attack in the capital in 10 days. The blast followed an Irish Republican Army blast 10 days ago in London’s Docklands commercial area. The IRA has declared its 17-month-old ceasefire over, accusing Britain of undermining the Northern Ireland peace process by stalling the start of all-party political talks. Police arrested two people and moved in to guard one of the survivors.

Other important events

1861 - King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes the first king of Italy.

1913 - Raymond Poincare becomes President of France.

1927 - US and Canada begin diplomatic relations.

1930 - American astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh discovers the planet Pluto.

1942 - Japanese troops land on Bali.

1955 - Baghdad Pact signed, making Turkey and Iraq part of a defensive alliance.

1965 - African nation of Gambia becomes independent within British Commonwealth.

1977 - Space shuttle Enterprise goes on its maiden flight above the Mojave Desert.

1979 - President Zia-ur-Rahman’s National Party wins elections in Bangladesh.

1980 - Israel opens its first embassy in Cairo after Egypt signs a peace treaty.

1988 - Boris Yeltsin is ousted from ruling Communist Party Politburo in Moscow.

1989 - Afghan government declares a state of emergency “to ensure peace and security” in the war-ravaged country.

1990 - Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu’s Liberal Democratic Party wins a fresh mandate.

2002 - EU imposes sanctions on Zimbabwe’s rulers.

2006 - Pakistan and India resume a train service across the Thar desert, 40 years after it was suspended.

2013 - Anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele launches a new political party Agang to challenge the ruling African National Congress.

2014 - India’s lower house of Parliament passes the historic Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Bill to create the 29th Indian state of Telangana.