6 HKers die in hostage drama
2010-August-24 Source: Szdaily web edition
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  Police commandos assault a bus with tourists held hostage in Manila yesterday.

Hospitals in the Philippine capital said six out of 15 Chinese tourists had been killed as police stormed their bus to end a daylong hostage-taking by a dismissed policeman by press time yesterday (Aug 23).

Police said earlier the hostage-taker was killed.

The Manila Hospital says five hostages were brought there, two of them dead on arrival and three alive without injuries.

The Manila Doctors Hospital reported it received four dead and one woman in critical condition.

The Philippine General Hospital said two hostages were brought alive.

Police stormed the bus yesterday evening after shots were heard from the hostage-taker, and at least four of the hostages crawled out of the back door.

The daylong standoff in downtown Manila started when a dismissed policeman armed with a M16 rifle seized the busload of Hong Kong tourists to demand his reinstatement in the force.

Earlier, police officer Roderick Mariano cited the Filipino driver who escaped moments before police surrounded the bus as saying the hostage-taker, identified as former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, 55, had opened fire at the tourists.

The gunman earlier released nine hostages — leaving 15 inside — and demanded his job back to free the rest.

According to newspaper reports from 2008, he was among five officers charged with robbery, extortion and grave threats after a Manila hotel chef filed a complaint alleging the policemen falsely accused him of using drugs to extort money.

Hong Thai Travel Services Ltd. General Manager Susanna Lau said a Hong Kong tour guide and 20 tourists from the territory — three children and 17 adults — were on the bus. There were also four Filipinos on board.

Mendoza hitched a ride on the bus from Intramuros and then "declared he is taking the passengers hostage" when it reached Jose Rizal Park alongside Manila Bay, police said.

Editor: Miranda
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