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Chinese President, Premier offer condolences for Hong Kong victims of hostage crisis


BEIJING, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday expressed their condolences to the families of the eight Hong Kong tourists killed in a hostage crisis in the Philippines.

In a joint letter to Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, chief executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), Hu and Wen expressed their deep sorrow for the families of those killed and consolation for the injured.

"We are in grave shock and grief on hearing that eight Hong Kong compatriots fell and many others were injured in the Manila hostage incident," the letter said.

"We hereby express our grave condolences and our deep sympathy to the families of the Hong Kong compatriots, and we hope the injured will recover soon," the letter said.

Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday also expressed his condolences in a letter to Tsang.

Eight Hong Kong tourists were confirmed dead and seven injured, two seriously, in Monday's incident in Manila, an official of Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said Tuesday.

The coachload of Hong Kong tourists were held hostage for more than 10 hours by a former policeman who was protesting his dismissal before police commandos stormed the vehicle.

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