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On This Day, April 26: Syrian troops leave Lebanon after 29 years


Lebanese students demonstrate in Beirut on March 14, 2002, against Syria`s military presence in their country. On April 26, 2005, the last of Syria’s troops left Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence. File Photo by Mahmoud Tawil/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) — On this day in history:

In 1607, the first British colonists to establish a permanent settlement in America landed at Cape Henry, Va.

In 1933, Nazi Germany’s secret police, better known as the Gestapo, is formed by Hermann Goering. The Allies declared the Gestapo a criminal organization during the Nuremberg trials and sentenced Goering to die.

In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, German-made planes destroyed the Basque town of Guernica, Spain.

In 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged, forming the country of Tanzania.

In 1982, Argentina surrendered to British forces on South Georgia Island amid a dispute over the Falkland Islands.

In 1986, a fire and explosion at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear reactor north of Kiev, Ukraine, resulted in the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster. About 30 deaths were reported in the days following the accident. It is believed that hundreds of people eventually died from high doses of radiation from the plant and that thousands of cases of cancer could be linked to the crisis.

File Photo by Sergey Starostenko/UPI

In 1993, Indian Airlines Flight 491 slammed into a parked truck during takeoff and crashed minutes later near the western Indian city of Aurangabad, killing 56 people.

In 1994, South Africans began going to the polls in the country’s first election that was open to all. Four days of voting would elect Nelson Mandela president.

In 2002, a German youth who had been expelled from the Gutenberg school in Erfurt, Germany, returned to the school and shot 16 people to death.

In 2005, the last of Syria’s troops left Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence.

In 2010, longtime Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir, sought by the International Criminal Court in connection with reputed crimes against humanity in the Darfur section of western Sudan, was re-elected president in a controversial vote.

File Photo by Abderaouf Ubgadar/UPI

In 2012, a U.N.-backed court convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor of war crimes, including murder, acts of terrorism, rape, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers, for aiding rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

In 2018, a Pennsylvania jury found actor Bill Cosby guilty on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.

In 2019, a police shootout in Sainthamaruthu, Sri Lanka, killed militants suspected of being involved in an Easter attack that killed more than 250 people.

File Photo by Perera Sameera/UPI


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