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Eight Hong Kong tourists, hijacker killed


Philippine President Benigno Aquino expressed condolences on Tuesday to the relatives of eight Hong Kong tourists killed in a hostage crisis in Manila. The message comes former police officer who took a bus full of tourists hostage in Manila Monday was killed by police after a 12-hour standoff.


"With the rest of the Filipino people, I wish to offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims whose lives were lost in the hostage situation at the Quirino Grandstand," Aquino said in a statement.

Eight hostages were killed, according to doctors. Four others were seen coming out of the bus alive, but the fate of the four others who remained on board was unclear.

"[The gunman] is dead. He was forced to retreat to the front of the vehicle when the Swat team attacked from the back," the leader of the police assault, Superintendent Nelson Yabut, told the AFP news agency.

Heavily-armed police moved in on the bus just after nightfall after negotiations broke down with the gunman. They threw teargas inside and started shooting.

The standoff was played live on television, and some of the tourists were then seen being pulled out motionless after the police stormed the bus, though it was not clear if they were unconscious or dead.

Doctors said that at least seven hostages were killed by the gunman, identified as former senior police inspector Rolando Mendoza.

The Hong Kong government confirmed the death toll.

Four of the bodies were taken to the Manila Doctor's Hospital, where a another victim was in critical condition.

Mendoza told local radio about two hours before police stormed the bus that he had killed two hostages.

He hijacked the bus apparently in an attempt to clear his name and to get his job back. He had been discharged for alleged extortion in 2008.

There were 22 tourists from Hong Kong on board, along with the driver and two other Fiipinos. Mendoza had previously released seven of the tourists, including three children and an elderly man, and the two Filipinos. The driver escaped through a window just before the police stormed the bus.

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