23 Aug 2010

'Sacked officer' takes tourists hostage in Manila

10:01 pm on 23 August 2010

An armed gunman has freed at least eight people from a group of hostages being held on a tourist bus in the Philippines capital Manila.

The gunman is apparently a disgruntled former police officer who was dismissed from his job. It is believed he was sacked over allegations of extortion and drug crimes, the ABC reports.

Police say he is armed with an M16 assault rifle and is a wearing camouflage uniform.

It is believed 23 of the bus passengers are tourists from Hong Kong. Three children and five adults have been released.

There are a number of Filipinos also on the bus, which is outside the popular tourist destination of Rizal Park near the landmark Manila Hotel and about 50 metres from the American embassy.

The gunman is said to have demanded his job back.