A boy passes by as a British soldier from the 1st Staffordshire Regiment patrols the streets of Belfast for the last time. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1998: Eight British troops completed a final army patrol along west Belfast’s rain-sodden streets, to the sound of cheers from onlooking Catholic residents. The last British army patrol in the divided city was announced on Thursday by Northern Ireland chief of police Ronnie Flanagan. “It is a very welcome development and it is made possible by the fact that we are continuing to have a significantly reduced terrorist threat,” said the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) chief. Joint army-police patrols will continue in other parts of the province until further orders. The withdrawal of troops from Belfast was thought to signal the start of a large-scale reduction in the 17,000-strong British troop presence in Northern Ireland, as envisaged in the April 10 peace agreement, which calls for a normalisation of the security situation in the province.

Other major events on September 12

1942 A German U-boat sinks the British troop ship Laconia, killing more than 1,400.

1943 German paratroopers take Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he is being held by the Italian government.

1953 Nikita Khrushchev becomes first secretary of the Soviet Communist Party.

1959 Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first spacecraft to reach the moon.

1974 Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed by a military junta.

1980 Turkish military seizes power and keeps it until 1983.

1988 Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica with torrential rains, killing 45 people.

1997 Scotland votes in favour of setting up its own parliament for the first time in 300 years.

2003 UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions against Libya.

2007 A Philippines anti-graft court sentences former president Joseph Estrada to life imprisonment.

2011 61 Kenyan are killed after a petrol pipeline exploded in a slum area in Nairobi.

2012 At least 280 people die in a garment factory blaze in Karachi, Pakistan.

2013 37 people die in a fire that swept through an psychiatric hospital for the aged in Russia.

2014 Former Northern Ireland leader Ian Paisley dies at the age of 88.

2016 Former British prime minister David Cameron resigns his seat in the House of Commons.