Monday, August 23, 2010

Philippine hostage-taker killed

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 23, 2010) – Police commandos have killed a former officer who took hostage over a dozen Hong Kong nationals in Manila after a firefight late Monday.

Former police captain Rolando Mendoza, 55, was shot in the head and body near the bus’ front door where he fought it out with commandos. The hostage-drama came to an end with officials saying several of the hostages were alive.

A civilian was wounded after Mendoza fired his automatic rifle indiscriminately on commandos trying to get inside the bus.

After the firefight, at least eight hostages were seen being rushed to waiting ambulance cars. At least 15 people were held hostage by Mendoza, officials said.

Mendoza, who was dismissed from the service after being accused of robbery and extortion, hijacked the bus on Monday morning. Mendoza later demanded that he be reinstated to the police service after denying all accusations against him.

At least 9 people had been released earlier by Mendoza and the bus driver escaped later in the night after jumping out of the window. He was quoted as saying that the remaining captives had been shot and killed.

Earlier in the night, policemen arrested a brother of the hostage-taker, Gregorio Mendoza, after he was accused of instigating, instead of convincing the armed man to surrender peacefully, according to Director Leocadio Santiago, chief of police forces in the National Capital Region.

The arrest of Mendoza’s elder brother may have prompted him to shoot the hostages. Mendoza’s brother told reporters that policemen would kill him after accusing him of conspiring with the hostage-taker, an accusation he vehemently denied.

Moments after the arrest of Mendoza, several shots rang inside the bus.

Officials said Mendoza hijacked the bus to air his gripe. His brother and wife also urged him to surrender peacefully. (Mindanao Examiner)

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