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2002 Mar 20
In Italy 928 illegal immigrants, mostly ethnic Kurds, arrived on a rusty cargo ship. A state of emergency was declared to deal with the problem.
Links: Italy, Kurds     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
In Pakistan Gen. Musharraf met with members of the Muslim League and planned a referendum to support his rule for another 5 years. Civilian opposition leaders condemned the plan.
Links: Pakistan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
In Lima, Peru, a car bomb explosion outside the US Embassy killed 9 people. Pres. Bush was scheduled to arrive 3 days later.
Links: Peru     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
In Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was charged with treason, fingerprinted and released on bail.
Links: Zimbabwe     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Some 600 US and Romanian ground troops in Afghanistan began Operation Valiant Strike, an intensified search for Taliban, al Qaeda and loyalists to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
Links: Romania, USA, al-Qaida, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Mar 20
In the Central African Republic Gen. Francois Bozizea asked his fighters to hand over their weapons to troops from neighboring Chad, prompting the insurgents to accuse their leader of betraying them.
Links: Chad, Central African Rep.     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
China demanded that military action against Iraq stop immediately and said the initial attack was "violating the norms of international behavior."
Links: Iraq, USA, China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Fidel Castro's agents arrested some of the government's leading critics in a crackdown on dissidents accused of working with US diplomats to undermine Cuba's socialist system. Jail sentences of over 20 years were later imposed on 75 of the dissidents.
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
The Czech Interior Ministry published a list of some 75,000 people identified as agents of the former communist secret police, the STB.
Links: Czech Rep.     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Operation Iraqi Freedom began with a few targeted strikes in Baghdad against Saddam Hussein, targeting him personally with a barrage of cruise missiles and bombs as a prelude to invasion. Iraq responded hours later, firing missiles toward American troops positioned just across its border with Kuwait. US Sec. of State Rumsfeld warned that the attack in Iraq would be "of a force and scope and scale that is beyond what has been seen before." A "shock and awe" strategy was planned based on a 1996 "rapid dominance" strategy. The US seized $1.74 billion in frozen Iraqi assets and declared it would be used for humanitarian purposes. Saddam Hussein appeared on state-run television accusing the United States of a "shameful crime" and urging his people to "draw your sword" against the invaders. Iraq set fire to at least 10 oil wells.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Mar 20
Hundreds of thousands of people marched on American embassies in world capitals to protest the war against Iraq.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Tornadoes hit rural Georgia and 6 people were killed.
Links: GeorgiaUS, Tornado     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Texas executed its 300th inmate since restoring the death penalty in 1982.
Links: USA, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Norwegian police arrested Mullah Krekar, the leader of a Kurdish guerrilla group suspected of links to al-Qaida, on kidnapping charges. After settling in Norway in 1991, Krekar founded the Kurdish Ansar al-Islam during visits to Iraq.
Links: Iraq, al-Qaida, Norway, Kurds     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
The Palestinian Authority broke up a Hamas training session and a firefight followed that killed one militant.
Links: Palestine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Mar 20
In Serbia nearly 1,000 people were arrested in a crackdown on criminal groups following the assassination of Serbian PM Zoran Djindjic.
Links: Serbia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel boat attacked and sank a vessel carrying Chinese fishermen off eastern Sri Lanka, killing 17 people on board.
Links: Sri Lanka     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
Turkey's parliament approved a motion allowing over-flights for US warplanes. Turkey announced plans to send thousands of troops into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.
Links: Turkey     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
UN Sec. Gen'l. Kofi Annan asked to be put in charge of a humanitarian program to aid Iraq.
Links: Iraq, UN     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Mar 20
2003 Apr 9
At least 1,700 Iraqi civilians were killed and over 8,000 injured in the battle for Baghdad.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Mar 20
The SF Asian Museum opened in the renovated former SF main Library. The makeover was designed by Italian architect Gae Aulenti (1928-2012). She was also known for the 1986 makeover of a Parisian train station into the Musee D’Orsay.
Links: USA, SF, Architect, Museum     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
It was reported that at least 56 people, virtually all young married or soon-to-be married women, had set themselves ablaze in Herat, Afghanistan, over the past year.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
NATO-led forces surrounded Kosovska Mitrovica in efforts to separate ethnic Albanians and Serbs and prevent a resurgence of attacks that killed 28 people and wounded 600. Ethnic Albanians looted villages and apartments abandoned by Serb civilians. Some 110 homes and at least 16 Serb Orthodox churches were destroyed by arson.
Links: Albania, Serbia, NATO, Kosovo     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
Thousands of protesters marched in Australia to mark the first anniversary of the Iraq war. Protests extended across Asia with some 30,000 marching in Japan.
Links: Australia, Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
The Economist reported that a Goldman Sachs study found consumers in Australia and Spain to be the most vulnerable, of 19 countries, to higher interest rates or recession.
Links: Australia, Spain, Economics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2004 Mar 20
The US military charged 6 soldiers with abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
The Rev. Karen Dammann, a lesbian Methodist pastor, was acquitted of violating church doctrine in a trial held in Bothell, Wash.
Links: Gays, Washington     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
A quickly spreading Internet worm destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of personal computers worldwide morning by exploiting a security flaw in a firewall program designed to protect PCs from online threats. The "Witty" worm wrote random data onto the hard drives of computers equipped with the Black Ice and Real Secure Internet firewall products. It spread automatically to vulnerable computers without any action on the part of the user.
Links: Internet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
In Guyana thousands marched through Georgetown, demanding the government order an independent investigation into claims of a state-sponsored hit squad blamed for more than 40 killings in the past year.
Links: Guyana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Rome demanding that Italy pull its 2,600 troops out of Iraq.
Links: Italy, Iraq     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
International Red Cross
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2004 Mar 20
In Kashmir a remote-controlled bomb hidden in a motorbike exploded as an Indian army convoy passed over a bridge, killing two soldiers and wounding 40 others.
Links: India, Kashmir     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
Former Netherlands Queen Juliana (94), who presided over the dismantling of the centuries-old Dutch empire and witnessed the birth of a social revolution during her 32-year reign (1948-1980, died.
Links: Netherlands     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
Nepalese government forces killed as many as 500 rebels, and at least 18 police and soldiers died in some of the fiercest fighting since a cease-fire collapsed last year.
Links: Nepal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
The Pakistani military commander leading a five-day assault on armed militants holed up in mud fortresses said a "high-value" terror suspect remained inside, possibly wounded, but there was no way to know whether it was al-Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.
Links: Pakistan, al-Qaida     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
The hunt for terrorists on Pakistan's frontier appears to be narrowing on an Uzbek terror group that once trained in Afghanistan.
Links: Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2004 Mar 20
Taiwan Pres. Chen Shui-bian narrowly won re-election, a day after being shot in an assassination attempt, but a referendum he had championed on beefing up defenses against China failed because not enough voters took part.
Links: China, Taiwan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
Uganda government troops backed by helicopter gunships fought fierce battles with rebels in northern Uganda, killing more than 50 insurgents.
Links: Uganda     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Mar 20
In Sao Goncalo, Brazil, Carlos Leite and his companion, Maria da Penha, inaugurated a free library in their home with some 100 volumes. By late 2005 the collection had grew to 10,000 volumes and took up most of the space in the home of the illiterate couple.
Links: Brazil, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
Severe flooding caused by snowmelt and torrential rains across Afghanistan left nearly 20 dead and thousands homeless.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
In Bangladesh about 15,000 people were left homeless after twin tornadoes simultaneously tore through northern Gaibandha and Rangpur districts, killing 55 people and wounding 1,000 others.
Links: Bangladesh     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
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2005 Mar 20
UN forces raided a police station occupied by armed former soldiers in Petit-Goave, 45 miles west of Port-au-Prince, setting of a gunbattle that killed two former soldiers and one Sri Lankan peacekeeper.
Links: Haiti, UN, Sri Lanka     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
Insurgents targeted Iraqi security forces and government buildings with gunfire, suicide bomb attacks and mortar rounds, leaving at least five people dead. A bomb blast near Kirkuk killed a U.S. soldier and wounded three. US troops killed 26 militants following an attack on a convoy SE of Baghdad.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck off the coast of southern Japan, killing one person and injuring at least 381 others.
Links: Japan, Earthquake     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
In Jordan an appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Jordanian found guilty of financing Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi's insurgent group in Iraq. The Court of Cassation said the Oct. 31 conviction of Bilal Mansur al-Hiyari by the military State Security Court "fell short of adequate justifications and causes."
Links: Iraq, Jordan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Mar 20
In Kyrgyzstan protesters stormed a police station in Jalal-Abad forcing officers to flee, a day after baton-wielding police evicted demonstrators from two government buildings they had occupied to protest alleged election fraud. 4 policemen were reported killed.
Links: Kyrgyzstan, Fraud     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Mar 20
A visibly frustrated Pope John Paul made a brief but silent appearance at his Vatican apartment window after missing his first Palm Sunday Mass in 26 years as pontiff.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
President Bush defended his Iraq record against skeptical questioning at the City Club in Cleveland. Protesters marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war made their voices heard around the world, with the largest marches in London, Portland and Chicago, though in numbers that were often lower than in previous years.
Links: Iraq, Britain, USA, Ohio, Chicago, Oregon, BushGW     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Chairman Michael Dell, speaking in Bangalore, India, said Dell Inc. plans to double the number of its employees in India to 20,000 in three years.
Links: USA, India, Computer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
The most powerful storm to hit Australia in three decades laid waste to its northeastern coast, mowing down sugar and banana plantations with 180 mph winds but causing no deaths or serious injuries.
Links: Australia, WeatherPac     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Bangladesh PM Begum Khaleda Zia began her first visit to India in five years. India and Bangladesh will be trying to rebuild confidence and end distrust that has crept into their relationship.
Links: Bangladesh, India     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
International Red Cross
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2006 Mar 20
Save the Children, a British charity, said some 9 million children in Africa have lost a mother to AIDS, calling on donors to sharply increase aid to meet their needs.
Links: Britain, Africa, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
European observers said that Belarus' presidential election did not meet international standards for a free and fair vote because of widespread detentions and intimidation.
Links: Belarus, EU     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
A Chinese cargo ship hit an anchored freighter and sank off South Korea's west coast, killing at least three Chinese crew members.
Links: China, South Korea     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Suspected insurgents killed least seven policemen with roadside bombs on the third anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, and authorities reported finding 10 more bullet-riddled bodies dumped in the capital. One was that of a 13-year-old girl. Insurgents and sectarian gangs killed at least 39 people.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Millions of Shiite pilgrims, some of them flogging themselves with chains, surrounded a shrine in the holy city of Karbala to commemorate the 40th and final day of symbolic mourning for the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.
Links: Iraq     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Mar 20
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi said Saddam Hussein should still be considered Iraq's legal president and the current government illegitimate as it was elected under an occupation regime.
Links: Iraq, Libya     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
In Nepal About 1,000 pro-democracy activists marched in Kathmandu demanding King Gyanendra free political detainees and give up powers he seized last year.
Links: Nepal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Palestinian gunmen from the ousted Fatah Party stormed government buildings, briefly took over a power plant and blocked a vital road in the Gaza Strip, injecting more chaos into the volatile area as Hamas militants readied to take power.
Links: Palestine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
In Ecuador police fired tear gas at dozens of Indian demonstrators trying to reach the government palace in Quito to protest free-trade talks with Washington.
Links: Ecuador     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov told his nation's youth to read his book Rukhnama three times a day in order to go to heaven.
Links: Turkmenistan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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