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Jill Dando's death caused shock and grief
Media Bytes

 "There was an explosion like a clap of thunder"
Peter Hunt reports on the Soho nail bomb blast

 "I cannot believe what has happened"
Jill Dando's fiance, Alan Farthing
Talking Point

Your tributes to Jill Dando

"Beautiful, intelligent but above all else sincere she was totally unaffected by the trappings of her fame." Lee Chandler, Bury St Edmunds, UK

"With all the violence in the world, it is easy to become de-sensitised. I thought I was - until today." Lorraine, UK

April

A number of indiscriminate murders shocked the people of Britain and the US.

The BBC Crimewatch UK presenter, Jill Dando, was murdered outside her home in what appeared to be either a contract killing or the work of a stalker.

Later in the month, three people were killed and more than 60 injured when a nail-bomb exploded in a gay bar in central London. That incident followed similar attacks in Brixton, south London, and in east London, the home of the capital's Bangladeshi community.

The US once again questioned the need for stricter gun laws after 13 people were gunned down by two teenagers at the Columbine High School in Denver, Colorado. It was later revealed that the pair had been planning the massacre for a year.

Meanwhile, the Nato raids against Yugoslav forces intensified as the Kosovo conflict showed no signs of being resolved.

The flood of refugees trying to leave Kosovo was described as a humanitarian catastrophe by the United Nations. Britain was among many other countries to take in people fleeing the fighting.

A decade-long campaign to secure the handing-over for trial of two Libyans suspected of the Lockerbie plane bombing over Scotland in 1988 was finally successful. Under an agreement with the Libyan authorities, the two men were to be tried in the Netherlands but under Scottish law.


People were moaning and groaning, lots of blood, limbs amputated, what you would expect when a bomb goes off.

They were lying on their backs, bodies twisted, limbs in places where you wouldn't expect them to be. It was a horrific scene.

Paramedic Ken Murphy at the scene of the Soho nail bombing
In another landmark legal case in Britain, a retired British Rail ticket inspector, Anthony Sawoniuk, was convicted of murdering two Jewish men and a woman in Belarus under Nazi rule during the Second World War.

Meanwhile, tension began to build between old adversaries Pakistan and India with both countries conducting test launches of nuclear-capable weaponry.

The fight against the perpetrators of email generated computer viruses was stepped up by the FBI in the US with the arrest of the man who invented the Melissa strain, which had infected more than 100,000 computers across the world.

In the UK, mega business deals continued. AT&T offered $58bn for cable-TV company Comcast to thwart a deal Comcast had made with MediaOne the previous month. Europe's largest Telecoms company was created with the announcement of 107bn merger talks between Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia. The latter had been busy fighting off a hostile bid by Olivetti.

In sport, Scotland celebrated winning the Rugby Five Nations championship and Jose Maria Olazabal won his second US masters title at Augusta.

The football world mourned the death of Sir Alf Ramsey, under whose management the England national team won the World Cup, a feat not repeated in the 20th century.

World: Bouteflika elected president of Algeria
World: Germany celebrates opening of new Reichstag
UK: Man Utd takeover bid blocked
UK: Mardi Gra bomber convicted
Sci/Tech: Who's reading your e-mail?
Entertainment: Centenary of Jazz legend Duke Ellington
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