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Philippines

Ex-policeman holds tourist bus hostage in Manila

Reuters

A former police officer armed with a high-powered assault rifle hijacked a bus carrying more than 20 Hong Kong tourists in the Philippine capital of Manila on Monday. Police said the bus was isolated in a popular tourist area and that talks with the gunman were underway.

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The man, identified as Rolando Mendoza, has released nine hostages since the standoff began Monday morning.

"There are children and adults on the bus," Metro Manila police commander Director Leocadia Santiago said.

Police said they were negotiating with Mendoza, who was discharged as a police officer in 2008 for alleged involvement in drug-related crimes and extortion.

He is reportedly demanding to be reinstated.

A police statement said at least 22 tourists from Hong Kong were on board the bus, along with the driver.

Meanwhile, a South Korean man was killed in a separate attack on a vehicle by gunmen in another part of Manila.

The motive for the attack was not clear, although kidnap-for-ransom gangs often target foreign tourists and businessmen in areas near Manila and in the provinces.

Police said the incidents are not related.

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