As the world readies to wave a goodbye to 2013, we here provide a glimpse of the top news stories that took place during this eventful year, listed in a chronological order.
Military operation in Mali
On January 11, French President Francois Hollande announced that the French armed forces had begun a military operation in Mali to help its government fight al-Qaeda-linked rebels controlling the northern part of the country.
Pope Francis election
On March 13, the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose a new pope after Pope Benedict XVI announced a historic resignation.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected and adopted the name Pope Francis.
Pope Francis, who is Argentinian, is considered to be the first non-European pope to be elected in more than 1,300 years.
U.S. Boston bombings
On April 15, two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three people and injuring 200 more. Two Chechen brothers, who immigrated to the United States in their childhood, were behind the attacks. Authorities said Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev carried out the bombings in retaliation for U.S. involvement in Muslim countries.
The 2013 protests in Turkey started on May 28, 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. Protest soon spiraled into a nationwide wave of protest against Prime Recep Tayyip Minister Erdogan, accused by his critics of becoming increasingly authoritarian.
Five people died during the protests, which saw the use of plastic bullets and water cannons by riot police and according to an indictment by a Turkish prosecutor in the province of Antalya, more than 3.1 million people joined the street protests in 80 provinces of Turkey, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported in December.
Currently, 167 people are under arrest for their involvement in the protests.
On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian armed forces ousted the country’s first elected civilian President Mohamed Mursi, following four days of nationwide protests demanding his departure.
Mursi’s removal after just a year in office marked another twist in Egypt’s turmoil since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Armed forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the nation on that day saying Mursi had failed to meet demands for national unity.
A range of political leaders backed the Egyptian military’s move, while some remained reluctant to accept it.
Chemical attacks in Syria
On August 21, 2013, the world woke up to a new deadly massacre in the Syrian crisis when video footage showing bodies of civilians on the ground reportedly killed by a toxic lethal gas on the outskirts of Damascus.
The Syrian opposition blamed forces loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the attack, which killed nearly a thousand people. Syria’s government however blamed the attack on foreign fighters and their international backers.
Bodies seen in footage circulated on the internet showed signs of people being killed from asphyxiation, analysts said.
A U.N. mission that went to Syria to investigate the attacks on specific sites said there was “convincing evidence” of the use of the toxic sarin gas against civilians in the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta, and few more sites.
Kenya’s Westgate mall attack
On September 21, 2013, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group stormed an upscale shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing over 67 people, among them were 61 civilians, six security personnel and five militants.
Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the Westgate mall attack. It said it was retaliation for the presence of Kenyan soldiers in southern Somalia.
Horrific pictures and videos were released showing militants spraying bullets and grenades at shoppers, executing unarmed men, and victims escaping to save their lives.
Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, a strong typhoon smashed into the islands of Philippines, killing at least 6,102 people, with nearly 1800 missing, and 4 million either homeless, according to Reuters.
Haiyan is considered to be the strongest typhoon to ever hit Philippines.
The United Nations appealed for the world for funds to help the country recover from the amount of devastation caused by Haiyan.
Iranian nuclear deal
The interim deal struck between Tehran and Western powers may have been one of the political highlights of 2013. On Nov. 24, Iran sealed a deal with six world powers in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
The move consists of a six-month process aimed at a permanent solution to the decade-old stalemate over Iran nuclear program. The United States and its allies accuse Tehran of building nuclear weapons.
Nelson Mandela’s death
On December 5, 2013, the world lost South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who died at his house aged 95 after a prolonged lung infection.