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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 December, 2004, 09:57 GMT
The World: 2004 in pictures
Prisoners in Tikrit
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Iraq dominated the news in 2004. The US waged a battle against insurgents in the country, many of whom were killed or captured. These fighters were taken prisoner in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.
A student chants anti-government slogans in Haiti
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Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced into exile in February after rebels stormed the capital. The slogan reads: "Down with the government, down with the political classes".
Two people injured by an explosion in a train wait for aid
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Blasts tore through trains in Madrid during the rush hour on 11 March, killing nearly 200. Spain's government was accused of suppressing evidence that Islamic extremists were responsible. Days later the Socialists won a surprise election victory.
Russian soldiers fill in their ballots for the presidential election.
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Also in March, Russian President Vladimir Putin was swept back to power with 71% of the vote in presidential elections. Here, Russia soldiers fill in their ballot forms in Moscow.
Former Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu
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In April, Mordechai Vanunu, the former nuclear technician convicted of treason by Israel, enjoyed his first hours of freedom. He had served an 18-year sentence for leaking Israel's nuclear secrets.
Moments after the explosion
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In May, the pro-Moscow president of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov, was killed in a bomb attack in the capital, Grozny. He had been attending a ceremony marking victory in World War II.
Rev Michael Wenning comforts Nancy Reagan by her husband's coffin
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The US paid its final tributes to former President Ronald Reagan in June, at a national funeral service in Washington. Nancy Reagan led the mourning at her husband's coffin, comforted by her minister.
A girl swims through Bangladesh's flooded streets.
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In July, the worst floods for many years in Bangladesh brought devastation for millions of people. Thousands of acres of crops were lost and livestock wiped out.
Lighting of the Olympic flame
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Despite pre-Games fears over construction and security, the Athens Olympics were hailed as a success in August. Athens Games boss Gianna Angelopoulos said: "The Olympics came home and we've shown the world the great things Greeks can do."
Muslim women protest in Paris
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A law banning Islamic headscarves and other religious symbols from French schools came into effect in September. The ban, designed to maintain France's tradition of separating state and religion, sparked protests throughout the country and elsewhere.
A man carries an injured child who escaped from a seized school in Beslan
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In Beslan, Russian special forces stormed a school where more than 1,000 children and adults were held hostage by Chechen separatists. The ensuing chaos resulted in hundreds dead, much of it played out on live TV.
A malnourished boy with a feeding tube into his nose at a hospital in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu
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In October, the UN urged an end to the war in northern Uganda. Some 1.6 million people have been displaced, the UN said, many of whom are living in squalid conditions where mortality rates are high.
Supporters of George W. Bush
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In November, US President George W Bush saw off his challenger John Kerry and was re-elected for a second term. He said: "I am proud to lead such an amazing country and I am proud to lead it forward."
Yasser Arafat's funeral
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On 11 November, Palestinian leader Yassser Arafat died in Paris. His body was returned to the West Bank town of Ramallah, where thousands of Palestinians paid their last respects.
Sri Lankan residents stand in front of stranded fishing boats on a shore, 29 December 2004 in Paiyagala, south of the capital Colombo
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As the year drew to a close, unprecedented waves smashed into countries around the Indian Ocean, killing tens of thousands and destroying homes and livelihoods.




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