Former Police Officer Hijacks Tourist Bus in Philippines
An ex-police officer armed with a high-powered assault rifle hijacked a bus carrying more than 20 Hong Kong tourists including children in the Philippine capital on Monday, police said, reports AFP.
Six hostages, three of them children, were released by the gunman about three hours after the standoff began, with the drama being played out live on national television.
“There are children and adults on the bus,” Metro Manila police commander Director Leocadio Santiago said on DZBB radio. “He is armed with an M-16 assault rifle,” he added.
Police said they were negotiating with the gunman, a former police officer who was discharged in 2008 for his alleged involvement in drug-related crimes and extortion, and was demanding to be reinstated.
A national police statement said at least 22 tourists from Hong Kong were on board the bus, along with the driver. Earlier, police had said they were South Koreans.
Live television footage showed the bus parked in front of a grandstand at Rizal Park, a popular tourist destination just a few blocks from the police headquarters.
Santiago identified the suspect as Rolando Mendoza, a decorated former police senior inspector before he was accused and relieved of his post.
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