Timeline: Four years of turmoil

Breakdown of major developments in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad on April 9, 2003.

    Statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square, Baghdad, is pulled down by US marines [EPA]

    July 22: Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay die in gun battle in Mosul.

    August 19: Bomb attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad kills 16.

    August 21: Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as Chemical Ali, is captured.

    August 29: Najaf car bomb kills 125 people, including Shia leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Hakim.

    December 14: Saddam Hussein is captured in Tikrit.

    February, 2004: More than 100 people killed in Irbil in suicide attacks on offices of main Kurdish factions.

    March 2: Suicide bombers attack Shia festival-goers in Karbala and Baghdad, killing 140 people.

    Muqtada al-Sadr prays with followers in Najaf


    April-May: Fighters loyal to Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr fight coalition forces.

    June 28: Iraq's US-occupation administration transfers power to the interim Iraqi government in a surprise move two days ahead of the scheduled handover. 

    August: Fighting in Najaf between US forces and supporters of al-Sadr.

    September 21: Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, delivers a stern rebuke to nations that "shamelessly disregard" international law. The previous week, he branded the US-led war on Iraq as illegal.

    October 6: The US Iraq Survey Group announces that 15 months of searching have uncovered no evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.

    November 16: British-born charity worker Margaret Hassan is killed by her kidnappers.

    December 17: Colin Powell and John Snow, US secretaries, sign agreement with interim Iraqi finance minister cancelling Iraq's $4.1 billion debt to the US.

    January 30, 2005: An estimated eight million people vote in elections for a transitional national assembly. The Shia United Iraqi Alliance wins a majority of assembly seats. Kurdish parties come second.

    February 28: At least 114 people are killed by a car bomb in Hilla, south of Baghdad.

    April 6: Parliament selects Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, as president. Ibrahim Jaafari, a Shia, is named as prime minister.

    May: Major increase in car bombings, bomb explosions and shootings, Iraqi ministries put the civilian death toll for May at 672, up from 364 in the previous month.

    June 14: Massoud Barzani becomes regional president of Iraqi Kurdistan.

    July 19: Study compiled by the non-governmental Iraq Body Count organisation reports nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US-led invasion.

    August 28: Draft constitution endorsed by Shia and Kurdish representatives, but not by Sunni negotiators.

    August 31: More than 1,000 people die in a stampede in Baghdad during a Shia ceremony.

    October 19: Saddam Hussein is put on trial on charges of crimes against humanity.

    October 25: Voters approve a new constitution, which aims to create an Islamic federal democracy.

    December 15: Iraqis vote for the first, full-term government and parliament since the US-led invasion.

    January 20, 2006: Shia-led United Iraqi Alliance win December's parliamentary elections, but fail to gain an absolute majority.

    February 22: A bomb attack on an important Shia shrine in Samarra unleashes a wave of sectarian violence in which hundreds of people die.

    April 22: Jalal Talabani, newly re-elected as president, asks Shia compromise candidate Nuri al-Maliki to form a new government. The move ends four months of political deadlock.

    May and June: An average of more than 100 civilians per day are killed in violence in Iraq, the UN reports.

    June 7: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, is killed in an air strike.

    September: A ceremony to transfer operational command from US-led forces to Iraq's new army is postponed.

    November 5: Saddam Hussein is found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.

    November 21: Iraq and Syria restore diplomatic relations after nearly a quarter century.

    November: More than 200 die in car bombings in the mainly Shia area of Sadr City in Baghdad. 

    Saddam Hussein is executed [AFP]

    December 30: Saddam Hussein is executed by hanging.

    January, 2007: George Bush, US president, announces a new Iraq strategy with thousands more US troops to be sent to increase security in Baghdad.

    January 15: Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam Hussein's half-brother, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of the revolutionary court, are executed by hanging.

    January: UN reports more than 34,000 civilians were killed in violence during 2006, the figure surpasses official Iraqi estimates three times over.

    February: A bomb in Baghdad's Sadriya market kills more than 130 people.

    March: Fighters explode three trucks with toxic chlorine gas in Falluja and Ramadi, injuring hundreds of people.

    March 20: Taha Yassin Ramadan, former vice-president, is executed.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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