Published: Aug 23, 2010 5:51 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 23, 2010 9:00 AM EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A 12-hour hostage drama aboard a Philippine bus ended in bloodshed Monday, with at least seven Chinese tourists dead along with the disgruntled ex-policeman who hijacked the vehicle and demanded his job back, officials said.

At least six captives survived, four of whom were seen crawling out the back door of the bus after Philippine police stormed it Monday evening when the hostage-taker started shooting at the 15 Chinese tourists inside, said police Senior Superintendent Nelson Yabut.

He said the hostage-taker was killed with a sniper shot to the head after he wounded a police sharpshooter.

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Hospitals in the Philippine capital say six out of 15 Chinese tourists have been killed as police stormed their bus to end a daylong hostage-taking by a dismissed policeman.

Police said earlier the hostage-taker was killed Monday evening.

The Manila Hospital says five hostages were brought there, two of them dead on arrival and three alive without injuries.

The Manila Doctors Hospital is reporting it received four dead and one woman in critical condition.

The Philippine General Hospital said two hostages were brought alive.

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine police have pulled back from a bus where 15 Chinese tourists are held hostage after commandos attempted to storm it in a bid to end a daylong standoff led by a dismissed policeman.

There was no immediate confirmation of any casualties in the standoff in downtown Manila late Monday.

However, police officer Roderick Mariano cited the Filipino driver who escaped moments before police surrounded the bus as saying the hostage-taker, armed with an M16 rifle, had opened fire at the tourists.

Police shot out the bus' tires then used hammers to smash side windows, door and windscreen. They attempted to enter but withdrew as a volley of gunshots rang out from the vehicle. Ambulances also withdrew.

There was no movement of people seen inside the bus.

PREVIOUS REPORT:

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A dismissed policeman armed with an automatic rifle seized a bus Monday in the Philippine capital with 25 people on board, mostly Hong Kong tourists. The gunman released nine of the hostages and demanded his job back to free the rest.

Police sharpshooters took positions around the white-blue-red bus, which was parked near a downtown Manila park. The road was sealed off as officers negotiated with the hostage-taker.

Ambulances with stretchers and fire trucks were positioned nearby.

Hours after seizing the bus, he released two women, three children, a diabetic man and three Filipinos - including a tour guide and a photographer, police said. The Filipino driver was still on the bus together with 15 tourists.

"He has released children, the elderly and the sick. He is showing signs of kindness and I think this will be resolved peacefully," said Fidel Posadas, police deputy director for operations.

The hostage-taker, identified as former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, 55, was armed with an M16 rifle. He demanded he be given back his job on the police force a year after he was fired, Manila police chief Rodolfo Magtibay said.

According to newspaper reports from 2008, he was among five officers charged with robbery, extortion and grave threats after a Manila hotel chef filed a complaint alleging the policemen falsely accused him of using drugs to extort money.

A Chinese diplomat who was monitoring Monday's negotiations said the hostages were "calm and peaceful" and appealed to Philippine authorities not to jeopardize their safety as the daylong talks with the gunman continued into the evening.

Bai Tian, deputy mission chief at the Chinese Embassy, told reporters they wanted every step taken "to secure the safety and security of our Chinese nationals."

Police brought in food for the hostages as well as fuel so the air conditioning unit can keep running as the outside temperature reached about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

Hong Thai Travel Services Ltd. General Manager Susanna Lau told Hong Kong's Cable TV the tour group had left the Chinese territory of Hong Kong on Aug. 20 for a visit to Manila and was scheduled to fly back to Hong Kong on Monday. She said a Hong Kong tour guide and 20 tourists from the territory - three children and 17 adults - were on the bus.

Mendoza hitched a ride on the bus from the historic walled city of Intramuros and then "declared he is taking the passengers hostage" when it reached Jose Rizal Park alongside Manila Bay, Magtibay said.

The area also includes the seaside U.S. Embassy and a number of hotels.

Apart from demanding his reinstatement, Mendoza also wanted to talk to the Philippine media and asked that his son - also a policeman - be brought to him. He scribbled some of his demands on paper and plastered it on the bus windows and a windshield.

A representative from the ombudsman's office talked to Mendoza on the phone and promised to look into his case again, Mendoza's brother, Florencio, told reporters.

The curtains on the bus windows were drawn and live TV footage showed two police negotiators walking to and from the bus and communicating with Mendoza from the window near the driver's seat.

Magtibay said they were also using the driver's mobile phone to talk to Mendoza. Another brother of Mendoza also was helping police in the negotiations, Magtibay said.

"We should really resolve this quickly so that it will not have a wider effect," Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said.

Mendoza's younger brother, Gregorio, also a policeman, said his brother felt "injustice was done on him" when he was fired.

"He was disappointed that he did well in police service but was dismissed for a crime he did not do," he said.

In March 2007, not far from Monday's hostage-taking, a man took a busload of children and teachers hostage from his day-care center in Manila to denounce corruption. They were freed after a 10-hour standoff.