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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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Jacques Hamel was conducting morning mass when two attackers stormed his church and slit his throat - photo AFP
Two armed men stormed into a church in southern France this morning and killed a priest and took four people hostage. Police eventually surrounded the church and shot both attackers dead. 

The two men, who said they were of the Islamic State (IS), burst into the church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray while a priest was conducting mass, 
made him kneel, and then slit his throat. 

The priest, Jacques Hamel, was 84-years old and has been described as 'an extraordinary person' by members of the community. 


Witnesses say the attackers recorded themselves and conducted a sermon in Arabic after they killed Hamel.


Some hours following the assault, the IS-related Amaq news agency reported that 'IS-soldiers' were responsible for the attack. 


This follows a recent string of Islamic State-related public onslaughts and massacres throughout France, Germany, and Europe that appear to be happening on a regular basis. 


Vocabulary
armed - having weapons
to storm - to suddenly enter
to take hostage  - to take (kidnap) as a prisoner

to burst into - to suddenly enter
to conduct - to do something (formally)
to kneel - to go down on one's knees
to slit - to make a long narrow cut
extraordinary - very special
a sermon - a religious talk done by a leader / presenter
a recent string - a current course of related events

onslaught - a terrible attack
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French special forces raid the church and shot the attackers dead - photo REUTERS
 
 
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A French helicopter and three French soldiers were shot down on Sunday by Libyan militia - photo by AFP / Getty Images
An Islamist militia has shot down a French helicopter in Libya killing three French soldiers says French president Francois Hollande. 

The attack occurred on Sunday outside of the city of Benghazi, and these reports now confirm that France has sent special forces to Libya.


First reports of the attack were made on Tuesday by unnamed military officials who said they were unauthorized to inform the media.


Since its 2011 uprising and NATO-intervention, Libya's government has been fragmented and has competing military and governmental groups.


A militia called Defending Benghazi Brigade, a rival of General Khalifa Hifter, the head of armed forces based in Libya's east, has taken responsibility for the attack.


Vocabulary
militia - an army of non-professional soldiers

confirm - to be sure about the truth (by having proof)
forces - here, this means 'military power'
unauthroized - officially not allowed
intervention - the act of coming between two or more groups to stop them
fragmented - divided into may parts / pieces
to compete - to oppose another group and try to win 

 
 
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Police and ambulance on the scene at a French Alps resort were a woman and her three daughters were stabbed and seriously injured - photo by The Telegraph
A French woman and her three daughters were all stabbed and seriously wounded by a Moroccan-born man at French Alps resort Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France on Tuesday. The attacker was arrested after the assault.

The man37, named only as Mohammed B., who was staying at the resort with his pregnant wife and two children, stabbed the daughters outside of their chalet while they were eating breakfast at around 10 a.m., and then went inside the chalet and stabbed their mother. 

The youngest girl, 8, was rushed to hospital with a punctured lung.

Reports claim the man, was angry at the woman and her daughters for being scantily-clad, wearing only t-shirts and shorts, yet this has been denied by local prosecutor. 

French television channel TFI said that the man had religious motives for the attack, however the local prosecutor has denied that as well. 

TFI also reported that the woman had helped the man the night before the attack because he had been ill. 


Vocabulary
to stab (verb) - to severely pierce someone with a sharp object (knife)
wounded - injured with blood spilled
chalet - a small wooden house found in the Alps / mountains (cabin)
punctured lung - a lung that has been stabbed with something

scantily-clad - wearing (a little amount of) clothing that shows much skin
motive (noun) - the reason for doing something
 
 
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Nice, France in state of national emergency - photo by The Guardian
The death toll to yesterday's truck attack in Nice, France is at 84, including 10 children and over 100 injured after a driver deliberately plowed a truck 2 km through a crowd of 30,000 people celebrating Bastille Day on Nice's Promenade des Anglais. The attacker, named as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, was shot dead by police as he emerged from the truck armed and shooting.  

Witnesses report victims shouting ‘It’s a terrorist attack, it’s a terrorist attack,’ as the driver swerved the truck in order to kill more people.

In a 4:00 am television address, France's President Hollande deemed the massacre a terrorist attack and announced a three-month extension of the state of national emergency in the country.


Vocabulary
toll (noun) - the amount counted (up to now)
to plow (verb) - to go forward with full power
to swerve (verb) - to very quickly go one way then the other way
deem (verb) - to declare that something is true

 
 
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Nice, France - Valery Hache/AFP/ Getty Images
Authorities have told the public that at least 77 people died in Nice, France Thursday night after a truck driver deliberately plowed into a crowd of people who were celebrating the country's Bastille Day on the famous Promenade des Anglais. 

Authorities are calling the incident an attack.

The former-mayor of Nice has told the media that weapons and grenades were found in the truck by police. 

Witnesses say the victims were watching fireworks for the Bastille Day celebration. 


Vocabulary
authorities (noun) - experts / leaders on a specific subject
deliberately (adverb) - with 100% intention
plow (verb) - to drive forward with full power

the media (plural noun) - news websites, news channels, newspapers, etc.
witness (noun) - a person who sees, hears, etc. an incident


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Nice, France - Eric Gaillard / Reuters