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Philippines mourns, Hong Kong angry after hijack deaths

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines acknowledged "inadequacies" in handling a hostage crisis that killed eight Hong Kong tourists, as anger over the botched negotiations erupted Tuesday in Hong Kong with demonstrations and harsh words.

A heartbreaking picture emerged of the victims — a mother of three who lost her husband and two daughters, a teenager oblivious of her parents' death and a tour guide who aspired to become a yoga teacher.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, facing his first major crisis since taking office June 30, declared today a national day of mourning in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.

Officials promised a full investigation into how hijacker Rolando Mendoza, 55, a former police officer demanding his job back, was able to gun down eight of the 15 Hong Kong hostages on board the bus before a sniper killed him and officers were finally able to get into the vehicle. Seven other hostages survived the final bloodbath, which came after a 12-hour standoff at a seaside Manila park.

Philippine Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo, who is in charge of the national police, acknowledged Tuesday there were problems with how the crisis was handled.

Philippines mourns, Hong Kong angry after hijack deaths 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:17pm]
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