MANILA, PHILIPPINES (23 August 2010)–Philippine police have stormed a hijacked bus and shot dead a former police officer who had taken a group of Hong Kong tourists hostage. Eight of the hostages were killed in the bloody siege, which ended with several survivors crawling from the bus while emergency crews removed bodies. A former policeman armed with an assault rifle had seized the bus in an apparent attempt to get his job back. Hong Kong’s government has criticised the handling of the siege. In all, 22 Hong Kong tourists were taken hostage along with three Filipinos – a driver, a guide and a photographer. Chinese officials said all eight of the dead were from Hong Kong. One of the survivors, who identified herself only as Mrs Leung, told reporters that her husband had been killed trying to stop the gunman from shooting other passengers. “I miss him. I actually really wanted to die with him. But I think of my children,” she said, according to AFP news agency. She was critical of the way police handled the situation, saying: “Why was there no-one to help us after so many hours?” Hong Kong’s leader Donald Tsang also criticised the way the siege was dealt with. “The way it was handled, particularly the outcome, I find is disappointing,” he said. Police Colonel Nelson Yabut told reporters that the gunman, identified as 55-year-old Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, was killed after he decided to enter a shoot-out with police marksmen. “On our first assault, Captain Mendoza was sprawled in the middle of the aisle …
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