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Former mall security guard releases hostages in Philippines

Former mall security guard releases hostages in Philippines
© Getty Images

A daylong hostage crisis in Manila ended Monday when a recently fired security guard released numerous hostages from a mall in the Philippine capital.

Archie Paray denounced his former employers as he walked out of the V-Mall and was detained by police, The Associated Press reported.

“I’m very thankful that everything ended up peacefully,” San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said. Zamora reportedly participated in negotiations with Paray, persuading him to give up his weapons and promising he would not be harmed if he turned himself in and released the 60 to 70 hostages.

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Zamora said Paray, armed with a handgun and possibly grenades, shot one shopper, who is in stable condition at a local hospital, before heading to the second floor and taking hostages in an administrative office, the AP said.

The mayor added that Paray was apparently fired after not showing up for work in recent weeks and later aired his grievances via his cellphone during the hostage crisis, accusing his former bosses of corruption and railing against recent changes to his work hours. Zamora said Paray unsuccessfully tried to persuade other guards to join him.

Six current security guards attempted to persuade Paray to release his hostages by apologizing to him in a news conference and offering to quit.

“I’m asking for his forgiveness, and because of this, I’ll resign from my job so this crisis will come to an end,” said Oscar Hernandez, one of the guards, according to the AP.

The hostage crisis came three years after a gunman killed 36 people in a Manila mall-casino complex. Philippine authorities said the gunman, who stole casino chips on his way out of the facility, was a gambler deep in debt.