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A masked, armed man has entered a retirement home for priests and monks and has kille dtwo people and taken 70 hostage - photo Sky News
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A masked man armed with a shotgun and a knife has stormed into a retirement home for monk's in Montpellier-sur-Lez in southern France on Thursday, killing two people and taking 70 monks hostage.

The man, who entered the building at 9:45 pm local time, is reported to still be in the building which is surrounded by police. 

Reports say that one woman and one man are dead, and that the woman, who was a supervisor at the home, had managed to phone police before she was killed by the attacker's knife.

More than 60 monks who worked in missions in Africa live at this retirement residence for monks and priests. 

The motive for the attack is still unknown. 

Vocabulary
to storm - to suddenly enter
masked - covering the face
armed - carrying a weapon (gun)

retirement - the time in life when a person stops working because they are old
to take hostage - to force someone to stay with you and not let them leave
mission - a religious trip to another place meant to help people and teach them about that religion

motive - reason for doing something

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A suicide bomb has killed 27 people in a Shia mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan - photo EPA
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At least 27 people have been killed and many more have been wounded by a suicide bomb detonated in a Shia mosque in the Afghanistan capital of Kabul on Monday. The explosion occurred at around 12:30 pm local time.

The attack has been claimed by Islamic State (IS) who are Sunni Muslim. Shia Muslims in Afghanistan have been targeted and attacked at least three times by IS in recent past.

It is estimated that 20% of the Afghan population are Shia Muslim with the rest being Sunni. 


President Ashraf Ghani said the attack was an attempt "to sow seeds of discord" and Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah urged the country not to fall victim to "enemy plots that divide us by titles".


The Taliban, a Sunni Islamist fundamentalist group fighting in Afghanistan, has also condemned the attack.


Vocabulary
to detonate - to activate; to set off
to claim - to declare responsibility 

an attempt - a try
sow - to grow
discord - great disagreement and uneasiness among groups

a plot - a plan
to condemn - to publicly express disapproval 

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An attacker with a rifle killed 5 people at Cascade Mall in Burlington, WA, USA - photo by AP
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-AUDIO mp3 NEWS-
A gunman carrying a rifle entered a Burlington, Washington shopping center on Friday night and opened fire killing at least five people.

The gunmen fled the scene and is still at large with the rifle.

Shots were heard in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington at around 7 pm as people began hiding in dressing rooms and locking doors to stores. The mall was evacuated at around 8:30 pm. 

Four woman and one man were killed all in Macy's Department store.

The attacker is described by police as a "Hispanic male wearing grey" and was last seen travelling toward Interstate 5 motorway.
 


Vocabulary
the scene - the place where the incident happened
at large - still free from (police) but wanted by the police

dressing room - a room in a store where people try on clothes
to evacuate - to suddenly leave an area (as a large group of people) because of danger
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Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male wearing grey - photo by AP
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A convoy of aid trucks is attacked by aircraft near Aleppo - photo AFP
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-AUDIO mp3 NEWS-
The United Nations has suspended all further aid to Syria after a relief convoy carrying supplies was attacked by an airstrike killing at least 20 people. 

The convoy was delivering food and blankets to the town of Uram al-Kubra, west of the northern city of Aleppo. Aid officials say it was hit as it was unloading the supplies.

The attack comes after the USA and Russia announced a brokered ceasefire in the region last week.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has described the incident as a “sickening, savage and apparently deliberate attack”.

While the USA has blamed Russia for the attack, Moscow has not admitted any responsibility, yet Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov did say that Russia had been monitoring the convoy. 


Vocabulary
to suspend - to (temporarily) stop
relief - aid, help, rest
convoy - a group of vehicles travelling together (for protection)

airstrike - an attack by plane
aid - help (food, medicine, etc.)
brokered - negotiated
ceasefire - a stopping of (military) attacks

to monitor - to watch carefully (for wrongdoing)



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Ahmed Khan Rahami, the attacker that exploded a bomb in NYC, receives medical treatment by USA staff -photo by WABC video
The man suspected of detonating a bomb in New York City and planting one in New Jersey has been shot by police and is now in custody. 

Ahmed Khan Rahami, 28, a USA-citizen originally born in Afghanistan, is undergoing surgery and receiving medical treatment in New Jersey.

A tavern-owner found Rahami sleeping in a bar's doorway in Linden, New Jersey and called police. When they arrived, police engaged in a shootout with Rahami, who shot two officers, one in the hand, and another in the chest, before he was shot and arrested.

The FBI said that they are not looking for any more suspects at the moment. 


Vocabulary

to detonate - to set off (a bomb)
to plant - to put something (danergous) somewhere and leave it
in custody - being held by authorities (police)
tavern - a bar



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The Minnesota shopping center where an attacker screaming "Allah" stabbed eight people - photo by AP
An attacker screaming "Allah" has stabbed eight people at a St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA shopping mall.

The attacker, who asked people if they were Muslim before he stabbed them, was shot dead by an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction. 

There are reports that the attacker was wearing a private security firm uniform.


Vocabulary
to stab - to pierce someone's skin, muscles, bone, etc. with a sharp object (knife) and wound them 
off-duty - not working at their job at that moment
jurisdiction - an area of a city covered by police, lawyers, judges, etc.

private security firm - a company that provides safety officers that are not police officers
uniform - the (same) clothing worn by staff employees, police officers, military people, etc.



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Civilians Giovanni Lo Porto, left, and Warren Weistein were killed by a US drone strike in Pakistan - photo by FACEBOOK (left) and AFP (right)
The USA has paid the family of Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, 37, $1.2 million after a USA drone strike in Pakistan killed him while he was held hostage by al-Qaeda. 

The family of Warren Weinstein, 73, a USA citizen, was also paid money by the USA. Weinstein, who had lived in Pakistan for seven years and worked as a development worker, was kidnapped in his Lahore, Pakistan home in 2011. 

USA president Barack Obama announced the incident last April and said that he regretted the killings. US officials have also stated that they did not believe any civilians were present in location of the attack, a border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

USA citizen Ahmed Farouq, described as an al-Qaeda leader, was also killed in the drone strike. 


Vocabulary
drone strike - a military attack by drones (human-less military aircraft)
aid worker - someone who helps poor people in another country as their job
to hold hostageto take (kidnap) as a prisoner
to kidnap - to forcibly take someone to another place and not let them leave




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A man has set fire to a train and six people have been stabbed while travelling near Salez, Switzerland - photo Google Streetview
A man has set fire to a train travelling near Salez in St Gallen Canton, Switzerland and six people aboard have been stabbed. 

The attacker, a 27-year old Swiss man, released a flammable liquid on board the train and set it on fire, then attacked people with a knife leaving six injured including a six-year old child.

The attack occurred at 14:20 local time.


Vocabulary

to set fire - to start a fire with / on something
flammable - able to burn extremely easily and very quickly
aboard (adverb) - on a train, plane, etc.
stabbed - pierced and injured with a sharp object (knife) 
on board - while travelling on a train, airplane, etc.

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A man has attacked a train in Salez, Switzerland - photo Keystone
 
 
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Aaron Driver, 24, warns Canada, "we thirst for your blood." - photo by a video by Aaron Driver
Following a tip from the FBI, Canada's RCMP confronted a man who recorded a video warning Canada against future terrorist attacks in the name of the Islamic State [ISIS]. 

Aaron Driver, 24, was killed while police were attempting to arrest him in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada on Wednesday. The RCMP say Driver planned to commit a suicide bombing in an urban area.

In the video, Driver accuses Canada of 'fighting against the Islamic State' and said, "there's a fire burning in the chest of every Muslim and this fire can be cooled only by the spilling your blood."

Last year, Driver had been arrested in Winnipeg, Canada on suspicion of terrorism. He was released and placed under a peace bond where he agreed not to use a computer, not to move away, not to be in the company of other suspected terrorists, among other conditions.


Vocabulary
RCMP - Royal Canadian Mounted (on a horse) Police
a tip from __ - special / secret information from __

to confront - to suddenly find and meet and interact with
suicide bombing - a person detonates (activates) a bomb that kills many people and kills himself / herself as well
urban area - a crowded, busy area (city, shopping mall, etc.)
suspicion of terrorism - when police believe someone may be a terrorist
peace bond - after being arrested, to pay money and sign to agree to follow certain conditions without going to court

in the company of - being around these people; being in the presence of these people; associating with __
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Aaron Driver told Canada, "You will pay for everything you ever brought against us [IS]." - photo FACEBOOK
 
 
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A Libyan militia soldier fighting against IS - photo by Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
The USA has launched airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces in the coastal city of Sirte, Libya. They included unmanned and manned drone attacks.

The strikes were requested by the UN-backed new Libyan government, Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) which has been fighting IS in the region of Sirte since May. 

Sources say IS had been using violence to impose Sharia law on citizens in the area. 

Libya's prime minister Fayez Sarraj said the strikes caused "heavy losses" and it has been reported that IS has lost a stronghold there.

The attack was authorized by USA president Barak Obama and the Pentagon has said, "These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL [IS] a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies."

Libyan militia have been fighting IS in the region, but much of its government and military has been divided into competing factions since NATO forces brought down former-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

IS arrived in Libya after Gaddafi fell with many of its soldiers coming in from Syria.


Vocabulary
to launch - to send off into the air
coastal - at the coast (next to the ocean / water) 
strike - a (military) attack
unmanned drone - using a drone and no humans
manned - using humans
requested - asked for
UN-backed - supported and approved by the United Nations
to impose - to force to follow

Sharia law - Islamic law used in legal governing
stronghold - a strong position of power
authorized - allowed by a person of authority
militia - citizen soldiers
competing factions - different groups that are trying to get power

to bring down - to cause the fall from power