World in brief: Chief, 2 officers to be removed

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007

The Manila police chief and two of his officers will be removed from their posts in the fallout from a hostage standoff in which 26 children were held aboard a bus in the name of social reform, the interior secretary said Thursday.

Armando “Jun” Ducat Jr., owner of the 145-student Musmos Day Care Center in Manila’s Parola slum community, used the 10-hour, globally televised standoff Wednesday to demand better education and housing for poor children.

Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said police failed to control the crowd of onlookers near City Hall, allowed unauthorized people into the scene, and permitted contact between the hostage-takers and other people – including media – without proper clearance.

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Police release opposition leader

Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader was freed from several hours in police custody, but nine others detained in a raid were charged Thursday in what the government alleged was a terror campaign, opposition officials said.

The detentions were part of a political crisis that has provoked concerns of a spillover in the rest of the region, and African leaders at an emergency meeting in Tanzania on Thursday appointed South Africa’s president to mediate.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party accused President Robert Mugabe’s government of trying to demonize its critics by fabricating allegations of an armed terror campaign.

Party officials said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was released after several hours in custody to see a doctor because he was suffering from dizzy spells from a police beating earlier this month.

Sixty others were arrested in Wednesday’s raid on the headquarters of the Movement of Democratic Change, and several were beaten, party officials said.


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