April 16

1862 France’s Napoleon III declares war against Benito Juarez, the Mexican leader.

1900 The first books of US postage stamps are issued.

1906 Pacific cable between the US and China is completed.

1917 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returns to Russia after 17 years in exile.

1942 India’s Congress party rejects terms of self-government offered by Britain.

1947 Fires and explosions wreck Texas City as a French freighter loaded with ammonium nitrate fertiliser blows up.

1951 The British submarine HMS Affray sank in the English Channel, killing all 75 crew.

1953 Royal yacht Britannia is launched in Scotland.

1970 Alpine avalanche plunges down on children’s sanitarium at Sallanches, France, killing 72.

1984 Malik Singh Bhatia of the “Talwandi Group”, a faction of the Akali Dal, is shot dead in the grounds of the Sikh’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple.

1988 Abu Jihad, military commander of PLO is assassinated.

1990 Fire caused by a leaking gas cylinder roars through two cars of a crowded train in India’s eastern Bihar state, killing at least 72 passengers.

1992 Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah is stripped of power.

1993 Mahamane Ousmane is inaugurated as president of Niger.

1994 Fire caused by a leaking gas cylinder roars through two cars of a crowded train in India’s eastern Bihar state, killing at least 72 passengers.

1999 Abdul Aziz Bouteflika becomes president of Algeria.

2001 Israel launches an air strike against a Syrian radar station.

2006 A passenger train in northern Greece crashes into a truck at a crossing and derails, killing three people.

2007 At least 33 people, including the suspected gunman, are killed at Virginia Tech University.

2008 US military frees AP photographer Bilal Hussain after he spent more than two years in custody in Baghdad.

2009 The second largest US mall owner, General Growth Properties, files for bankruptcy.

2011 Nigerians vote for what they hope will be their first credible presidential election for decades and could set an example across Africa.

2013 A 7.8 major earthquake strikes on a border area of southeast Iran and kills 35 people.

2014 A ferry carrying 459 people capsizes off South Korea, killing 304 people.

2016 A massive quake hits near the city of Kumamoto, Japan, killing at least 41 people.

2017 Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain Grand Prix.



Abu Jihad shot dead in Tunis

An eight-member assassination squad shot its way into the home of Khalil Al Wazir, also known as Abu Jihad, military commander of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), killing him in a hail of machine gun fire as he emerged from his study in Tunis. It was the second strike at the PLO on Tunisian territory since the movement moved its headquarters to suburban La Marsa. The assassination raised the prospects of intensified violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where news of the 52-year-old Wazir’s death led to an eruption of rioting with at least 13 Palestinians shot to death. The PLO said Wazir was riddled with more than 100 bullets by the assassination team, which included a woman. Al Wazir was the most senior Palestinian official to be assassinated since the founding of Fatah, the largest group in the PLO, in 1964. He was PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat’s closest aide, a member of the PLO executive committee.