- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2010

PHILIPPINES

Official says police may have shot hostages

MANILA | Some victims in a botched hostage rescue of a tourist bus in the Philippines may have been hit by police fire, the nation’s top law enforcement official said Thursday.

Eight tourists from Hong Kong were killed and three seriously wounded after a fired policeman hijacked their bus on Aug. 23 to demand his job back. The hostage-taker also was killed when police stormed the bus after a standoff that dragged on for hours on live television around the world.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said bullet trajectories and the hostages’ wounds indicate that some of the passengers may have been hit by “friendly fire.” She did not say, however, whether any of the shots fired by police were fatal and added that investigators will await a complete ballistics report before drawing any final conclusions.

The new details of the investigation emerged as Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III said he’s through apologizing for the attack and will focus instead on easing tensions with China and Hong Kong, where officials have criticized the handling of the day-long crisis.

SOUTH KOREA

Christian indicted over trip to N. Korea

SEOUL | A news report said South Korean authorities have indicted a Christian activist who made an unapproved visit to North Korea.

Yonhap news agency says the Rev. Han Sang-ryol was indicted Thursday under the National Security Law on charges of meeting North Korean secret agents and praising the North during his 70-day visit.

Prosecutors were not available for comment.

Mr. Han was detained last month as he returned home across the heavily fortified border with North Korea.

He could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of violating the security law, which bans citizens from having unauthorized contact with North Korea and supporting its communist regime.

A separate law bars citizens from visiting the North without government permission.

JAPAN

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