Learning English - Words in the News
30 January, 2008 - Published 13:16 GMT
Hostage gang arrested in Venezuela
Four gunmen who'd held more than thirty people hostage inside a bank in Venezuela have surrendered to police. The men escaped in an ambulance but were later stopped on a highway and surrounded. This report from James Ingham:
It was a tense standoff that lasted more than twenty four hours - this quiet farming town suddenly at the centre of what many described simply as a nightmare. It began when four gunmen entered the bank intending to make a quick getaway. When they spotted a police patrol, they panicked and so began the siege - more than thirty people held hostage.
As the hold-up continued, some managed to make calls and send texts to friends and relatives. Others stuck hastily written notes in the windows pleading for help. The gunmen were demanding money and a guaranteed escape.
At first authorities refused but finally a deal was struck and the robbers fled the building in an ambulance, taking with them five hostages. The others were then able to leave. They emerged looking emotional, clearly relieved to be free.
But the drama was not yet over. Police had promised the gunmen that they wouldn't be followed but several hours later they were stopped on a highway and surrounded. The men released their remaining captives, threw down their weapons and surrendered; a tense ordeal ending without a shot.
James Ingham, BBC News, Caracas
a deal was struck and the robbers fled
emerged looking emotional
they wouldn't be followed
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