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Day after Manila hostage crisis, cops under fire

Last updated on: August 24, 2010 14:08 IST

A day after the Manila bloodbath

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The death toll from Monday's hostage crisis in Manila climbed to 10 early Tuesday, with another hostage succumbing to injuries in a Manila hospital.

The Manila bus hijack in images

A woman died at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, while at least three other hostages were declared dead at the Ospital ng Maynila, four at the Manila Doctors Hospital, and one at the Philippine General Hospital, Xinhua reports.

The tenth fatality was the hostage taker himself, dismissed senior inspector Rolando Mendoza.

At least six hostages were still being treated in other hospitals in Manila.

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Image: People paid their respects to victims of the hostage drama
Photographs: Reuters
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China condemns bloodbath

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Meanwhile, all government offices in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region lowered flags at half-mast Tuesday to mourn Hong Kong tourists killed in the abduction tragedy.

Activity on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange ceased, as traders observed a minute of silence.

The Chinese government has strongly condemned the hostage taking of Chinese tourists and demanded the Philippine government thoroughly investigate the incident.


Image: A member of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO) inspects the damage to a tourist bus during their forensic examination
Photographs: Erik de Castro/Reuters
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Review of what went wrong has started

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The drama unfolded as dismissed policeman Rolando Mendoza, clad in camouflage dress and carrying an M-16 assault rifle boarded a tourist bus in Manila, and took all 25 people on board hostages.

The police standoff that followed lasted 12 hours and ended after a SWAT team stormed the bus and killed Mendoza -- and eight tourists as well in collateral fire.

The day after the high-drama hostage drama aboard a bus, authorities in Manila have begun a review of what went wrong in their rescue operation that saw 11 persons, including the hostage-taker, being killed.


Image: A combination photo shows former police officer Rolando Mendoza, who took a tourist bus hostage, standing at the door of the vehicle (L) and after he was shot dead
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
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Cops under fire

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President Benigno Simeon 'Noynoy' Aquino III spoke out against the rescue operation, saying he was not satisfied with the handling of the situation.

"How can I be satisfied when there are people who died?" he asked.

The Metro Manila police chief, Leocadio Santiago Jr, told a local radio station, 'We are analyzing the situation to find out what we did right and what we did wrong. This will be a transparent analysis.'


Image: The hostage drama occupied headlines on all newspapers

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Heads are expected to roll

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Heads are expected to roll in the police force, but there has been no official intimation of it so far.

'We expect to learn many lessons, we have just started our analysis,' Santiago said.

'Our first priority, from the president to the ground commander, had always been to protect the hostages' lives.'

While the police was prepared to hold negotiations with the hostage-taker, dismissed police inspector Rolando Mendoza, tension reportedly flared up when the latter's brother, Gregoria Mendoza was arrested.


Image: Members of the Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operations inspects the damage to the tourist bus

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Hong Kong issues 'black travel alert' for Philippines

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Admitting as much, Santiago told the radio station, 'Our sequence analysis shows that the arrest of Mendoza's brother was a factor in the hostage situation deteriorating.'

When that happened, the police force tried to slam its way into the bus by using a sledgehammer, the only thing left in their stock of options, but they had no idea that the bus's windshield could withstand the blows.

The Hong Kong government has since issued a 'black travel alert' for Philippines and warned its residents to avoid travel to the country. Beijing too issued an alert to its citizens urging caution.

Click on MORE to see the hijack drama in images


Image: A Scene of the Crime Operations member inspects the damage to the tourist bus
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
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