Bloody end to bus hijack

Seven hostages have been killed and
eight injured after a sacked policeman hijacked a tourist bus in the
Philippines.

A gun battle was sparked after
former senior inspector Rolando Mendoza seized the bus, armed with an M-16 automatic
rifle.

After various attempts by police to
storm the bus and a torrent of gunfire, senior superintendent Nelson Yabut said
Mendoza was shot dead.

A lifeless body was seen dangling
out of the window.

There were 15 tourists from Hong
Kong on board after nine were released earlier in the incident.

All the passengers were initially
thought to be dead when the Filipino driver of the bus escaped and shouted
“all the hostages are dead”.

However Hong Kong’s leader later
confirmed that eight were injured in addition to the seven killed.

Mendoza had earlier threatened to
kill the hostages in a live telephone interview with the local radio station if
police approached the bus.

According to newspaper reports from
2008, Mendoza was among five police officers who had been charged with robbery,
extortion and threats.

A Manila hotel chef filed a
complaint alleging the policemen falsely accused him of using drugs to extort
money.

Mendoza’s younger brother,
Gregorio, also a policeman, said his brother felt that “injustice was done
on him”.

“He was disappointed that he
did well in police service but was dismissed for a crime he did not do.”

The hijacked bus was carrying 20
tourists, three tour guides, and a Filipino driver and photographer according
to Susanna Lau from Hong Thai Travel Services Ltd.

She said the tourists left Hong
Kong on 20 August  for a three-day visit
to Manila.

WORLDbloodyendthijackSTORY

Rescuers carry a wounded hostage from the emergency door of a tourist bus that was taken over by a former police officer in Manila, Monday.
Photo: Reuters
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