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ON THIS DAY

28 July 2005: IRA declares end to armed struggle. The IRA has formally ordered an end to its armed campaign and says it will pursue exclusively peaceful means. In a long-awaited statement, the republican organisation said it would follow a democratic path ending more than 30 years of violence. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the move was a “courageous and confident initiative” and that the moment must be seized. Prime Minister Tony Blair said it was a “step of unparalleled magnitude”. “It is what we have striven for and worked for throughout the eight years since the Good Friday Agreement,” he said. (Source: BBC)

02 August 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. More than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers backed up by 700 tanks invaded the Gulf state of Kuwait in the early hours of this morning. Iraqi forces have established a provisional government and their leader Saddam Hussein has threatened to turn Kuwait city into a “graveyard” if any other country dares to challenge the “take-over by force”. Iraqi jets have bombed targets in the capital and Special Forces have landed at the defence ministry and at the Emir’s palace. Road blocks are in place and there are reports of looting in the city’s shops. Initial reports suggest up to 200 people have been killed in heavy gunfire around the city. It is reported that the younger brother of Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah has been killed whilst trying to defend the palace, while the Emir himself has escaped to Saudi Arabia. All communication has been cut with Kuwait and many people, including thousands of foreign nationals, are trapped in the city. The invasion has sparked strong condemnation from leaders around the world. The United Nations Security Council, in emergency session, has called for the “immediate and unconditional” withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, branded the invasion as “absolutely unacceptable” while American president George Bush condemned the attack as “a naked act of aggression.” So far there has been no condemnation of the attack from any Arab country. (Source: BBC)

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