1981 – 1991 Politics and Wars

 Margaret Thatcher

The United Kingdom was governed by the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first female leader of a western country.

Under her Premiership, the party introduced widespread economic reforms including the privatisation of industries and the de-regulation of stock markets echoing similar reforms of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

 She was also a staunch opponent of communism earning her the nickname ‘The Iron Lady’.

 

 

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The Lockerbie Disaster

 On 21 December 1988, when a Boeing 747-121 was blown up over the village of Lockerbie, Scotland while enroute from London’s Heathrow Airport to New York’s JFK. The bombing killed all 243 passengers, 17 crew members and 11 people on the ground, totaling 270 fatalities who were citizens of 21 nationalities. The bombing was and remains the worst terrorist attack on Uk soil.

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The Beirut Barracks Bombing

 (October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the American Marines barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and three Army soldiers, along with sixty Americans injured, representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.In addition, the elderly Lebanese custodian of the Marines’ building was killed in the first blast. The explosives used were equivalent to 5,400 kg (12,000 pounds) of TNT.

In the attack on the French barracks, the eight-story ‘Drakkar’ building, two minutes after the Marine attack, 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment were killed and 15 injured, in the single worst military loss for France since the end of the Algerian War.The wife and four children of a Lebanese janitor at the French building were also killed.

The blasts led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization following the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

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