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1994 - More than 500 people were killed in southern Egypt, most of them when blazing fuel flooded into a village from a depot struck by lightning. Lightning struck the complex of eight fuel tanks towards the end of a thunderstorm that raged across much of Egypt for up to five hours. Three of the storage tanks, each holding about 5,000 tons of aircraft or diesel fuel for the army, exploded and spilt burning fuel into the village, which lies about 320 km south of Cairo. More than 200 houses in Dronka were destroyed and at least 20,000 terrified people moved out.

Other important events

1841 - Second Afghan War starts when Afghans massacre British army officers.

1851 - Louis Napoleon assumes power in France.

1914 - Russia declares war on Turkey.

1914 - Great Britain annexes Cyprus.

1930 - Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

1956 - Hungarian government renounces Warsaw Treaty and appeals to the UN against Soviet invasion.

1958 - Last British troops leave Jordan.

1963 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated by his own troops during a coup.

1964 - Prince Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud succeeds Saud as King of Saudi Arabia.

1976 - Jimmy Carter is elected the 39th President of the United States.

1978 - Two Soviet cosmonauts who set a new record by staying in space 139 days and 15 hours land safely in Kazakhstan.

1991 - Frederick Chiluba is sworn in as Zambia’s new president.

1992 - Basketball star Magic Johnson retires for a second time from the Los Angeles Lakers.

1995 - Sharjah Ruler honours six top publishers for their remarkable contributions made to create awareness about reading and books in Arab countries.

2000 - At least 54 people are killed and another 32 are missing as Typhoon Xangsane pounds Taiwan.

2001 - UAE and Iran sign free-trade accord.

2004 - President His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan passes away after being president for more than three decades, since the birth of the federation.

2005 - Gulam Nabi Azad is sworn in as the tenth chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

2006 - Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards test-fire dozens of missiles, including the long-range Shahab-2 and Shahab-3.

2008 - British Formula One Driver Lewis Hamilton becomes the youngest F1 world champion in Brazil.

2009 - President Hamid Karzai wins the presidential election in Afghanistan.

2011 - Israel successfully tests a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that can strike Iran.

2014 - A suicide bomber kills at least 55 people at the main Pakistan-India border crossing, the blast tearing through crowds of spectators leaving after the colourful flag-lowering daily ceremony to close the frontier.

2015 - Cyclone Chapala hits the Yemeni island of Socotra killing three people and injuring dozens, as the Category 1 storm heads for the mainland.