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Learning English - Words in the News
 
24 November, 2004 - Published 15:59 GMT
 
Albanian authorities call for return of weapons
 
Map of Albania

The government has again asked Albanians to give back weapons that were stolen from the army during disturbances in 1997. The weapons were taken after some people learnt that they had lost all of their money in dishonest savings schemes. This report from Rob Cameron:

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The Albanian government has issued a new call for people holding illegal guns and ammunition to hand them in to police. Deputy Prime Minister Namik Dokle said time was running out -- an official amnesty expires in May next year. Half a million guns and more than 800 million rounds of ammunition were looted in 1997, when thousands of Albanians, furious over losing their life savings in fraudulent pyramid investment schemes, stormed army barracks.

Since then the authorities have managed to retrieve around half the missing guns, and around 115 million rounds of ammunition. Thousands of weapons are believed to have been smuggled to militants in neighbouring Kosovo and Macedonia. Many more remain in private hands.

Listen to the words

illegal
something that is not allowed by law

running out
there is very little left

amnesty
an official pardon or forgiveness granted by the state

rounds of ammunition
bullets that are released when a gun is fired

looted
to steal things from shops, houses or businesses during disturbances

fraudulent
deliberately dishonest or untrue

stormed
attacked

retrieve
to get something back

smuggled
to take people or things into or out of a place secretly and illegally

in private hands
belonging to individuals not the state

 
 
 
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