Four police officers who led an assault to end a hostage crisis in which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed in Manila, have been suspended, the national police spokesman said. "Pending the results of the investigation, they have been administratively relieved from their positions," Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz told reporters. The four policemen were leaders of a 200-strong special weapons and tactics team that attempted to end a day-long hostage drama on Monday that began when an ex-policeman hijacked a busload of Hong Kong tourists.
Eight of the hostages were killed during the bloody end to the stand-off and police admitted to tactical and operational blunders in handling the situation. Police are conducting an inquiry into the events and Supt Cruz said the four had been suspended to ensure they "did not exert undue influence on the investigation". Supt Cruz also said 200 members of the SWAT had been ordered to turn over their weapons for ballistics tests.