Philippine Bus Siege: Tragic Farce

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Book Reviewer
BBC News - Two Britons survive Philippines bus siege

Judging from the press reports, this is about the worst bungled hostage rescue attempt I can think of in modern times, off hand.

From what I can undestand:
Snipers did not not shoot the hostage taker, despite several opps;
One SWAT chap actually managed to enter the bus - then jumped off again after the hostage taker opened fire on him;
It then took the SWAT teams 70 (seventy, not seven) minutes to actually get into the bus - they no ladders, or other entry aids in evidence; their only forced entry device was an ax; they were unable to pull the door off the bus with a rope; etc, etc.

End result? Nine hostages dead as well as the hostage taker - a former police chief.

I am not suggesting that thes kind of operations are easy or risk free, but this boggles the mind.

I remember my dealings with the Manile 5-0 (long story) during the coup against Aquino in Xmas 89: When I gave my statement I was introduced to a constable who introduced himself as "Mad Killer." He then asked me if I would like to go out to the alley behind the station and fire a few rounds with his service revolver. (I politely declined) Nice chap and all, but not the sort into whose hands one would want to place one's life.

The Chinese are screaming blue bloody murder, and for once, I cannot fault them.
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