A hijacker armed with what turned out to be a toy gun was shot dead by police in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday after he held a busload of passengers hostage for several hours on a major bridge in peak-hour traffic.
French commandos rescued four foreign hostages including two French citizens from a militant group in Burkina Faso, France's military said on Friday, adding that two of the elite soldiers were killed in the night-time operation.
Nigerian police have freed 27 hostages kidnapped in recent weeks, police officials said Thursday, including five Chinese citizens.
Afghan security forces have freed 200 hostages and killed two assailants who launched a car bomb attack in Kabul near several government buildings on Monday, an official said.
India has asked Ethiopia to investigate a report that employees of an Indian company, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), have been taken hostage by staff in Ethiopia, a government source said on Saturday.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Islamic State (IS) militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by US-backed forces and had executed some of them and promised to kill more.
During the shootout, the suspect was wounded in the arm, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, adding that one woman was shot in the store and later declared dead at the scene.
The bodies of 38 Indian construction workers kidnapped and murdered in Iraq by the Islamic State group returned home on Monday four years after their disappearance.