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A hostage is an entity which is held by a captor in order to compel another party to act or refrain from acting in a particular way. Frequently the entity held is a person. Hostage taking is often politically motivated or motivated by a desire for ransom.

Taking hostages is today considered a crime and/or terrorist act; however, it has a history of military use dating back thousands of years. The criminal activity is known as kidnapping.

Famous hostages include

See also

Last updated: 02-08-2005 14:15:24
Last updated: 03-02-2005 12:58:17