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Words in the News
 
Monday 12 April 2004
 
Iraq foreign hostages
 
Japanese men Seven Chinese nationals have become the latest foreigners to be taken hostage in Iraq. The US military said that three more marines were killed on Sunday in western Iraq. It didn't say whether they were involved in fighting in Fallujah. After a week of fierce fighting in Fallujah both sides have agreed to stop shooting. This report from Barbara Plett:
 
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China's state new agency says the seven men were abducted near Fallujah while travelling on the main road between Jordan and Baghdad. They're the latest foreigners to be kidnapped during a week of fierce fighting in Iraq.

A British man has been released. But the fate of three Japanese hostages threatened with execution still hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, residents of Fallujah are burying their dead and trying to get out of the city during the lull in fighting. Local hospital officials say more than six hundred people have been killed, most of them civilians. The marines insist most of the dead are fighters.

The Americans have failed to crush the insurgents despite the use of massive force. Mediators continue efforts for a negotiated solution. But the US military is reinforcing its troops to resume the offensive if talks fail.
 
 
Listen Listen to the words
 
abducted
 
taken away illegally usually by force
 
the fate of
 
what will happen to
 
hangs in the balance
 
remains undecided
 
lull
 
a period of quiet or little activity
 
insist
 
say very firmly and refuse to change their mind
 
crush
 
completely defeat
 
insurgents
 
people who are fighting against the government or army of their own country
 
mediators
 
people who are trying to settle a dispute between two groups
 
negotiated solution
 
an answer to the problem based on talks
 
resume the offensive
 
to restart the strong attack
 
 
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