A number of hostages shot dead during a botched mission to save them from a bus hijacker in the Philippines may have been hit by police fire.
The gunman - a disgruntled former police captain - was killed when police commandos stormed the vehicle in Manila, on August 23.
But eight tourists from Hong Kong died in the assault and three were seriously wounded.
Philippine justice secretary Leila de Lima said bullet trajectories and the hostages' wounds indicated some of the passengers may have been hit by "friendly fire".
She did not say whether any of the shots fired by police were fatal.
But Ms de Lima added that investigators will await a complete ballistics report before drawing any final conclusions.
China has criticised the rescue operation, suggesting the Philippine force was ill-equipped to handle hostage situations.
The new details of the investigation emerged as Philippines President Benigno Aquino III said he will stop apologising for the attack and focus instead on easing tensions with China and Hong Kong.
"Let me just say that this incident will not define this administration," Mr Aquino said.
The president added that he will wait for a report from a fact-finding committee before he fires any officials for the fiasco.
The Chinese Embassy said, in a statement, it expects the Philippines to come up with "a comprehensive and fair report, which tells the truth (and) upholds justice".
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Manila bus hostages killed by police.