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Listen to News ~ dateline: 22 January 2013

Weekly Audio News for ESL Learners

Algerian Hostage Crisis Ends

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • hostage: a person who is held prisoner by a kidnapper or terrorist; the hostage taker usually has special demands
  • siege: the surrounding of a location by military or police forces
  • militant: a person with an aggressive or radical approach to war and conflict
  • remain unaccounted for: not yet found dead or alive
  • intervention: the sudden involvement or use of force by a third party

Algerian Hostage Crisis Ends

A four-day siege has ended in the desert. Islamic militants stormed a complex in Algeria, taking hundreds of people hostage, including more than 100 foreigners. The Algerian military surrounded the facility and attempted to free the hostages. While hundreds of people escaped, at least 37 hostages from eight countries were killed, and several others remain unaccounted for. The Islamist group the attack on France’s military intervention in Mali. The terrorists claimed that Algeria was targeted because it allowed¬†¬†to use its airspace. Algeria is Africa’s largest natural gas producer, and many argue that its gas facilities need security.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where did the hostage crisis take place?
  2. Describe the death toll following this crisis.
  3. What reason did the militants give for the terrorist act?

Discussion Question: Many of the hostages who were in the most danger were foreigners who had explosives strapped to their bodies. Should the Algerian military have waited for help from foreign forces before taking on these militants?

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Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub.com
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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