Korean tourist shot dead on street in Philippines

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Korean tourist shot dead on street in Philippines

A 65-year-old Korean tourist was fatally shot in the Philippines walking to his hotel amid ongoing concerns about the safety of Korean travelers abroad.

This marks the first time a Korean tourist - as opposed to a resident - was shot to death in the Philippines.

The 65-year-old man surnamed Heo was shot in the tourist destination of Angeles City, north of Manila, around 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Korean Embassy in Manila yesterday.

He had been heading out of his hotel with three co-workers when they were tailed by two unidentified people on a motorcycle.

One of the motorcyclists fired at Heo’s group with a 9-millimeter pistol multiple times. Heo was said to have died on the spot. His co-workers avoided any serious injury.

Officials have not revealed if the assailants were captured.

Heo and a group of his co-workers arrived in the Philippines on Saturday and spent the day touring Angeles City. They had been due to return to Korea that same day.

A similar case occurred in January, when two assailants on a motorcycle shot a Korean who had withdrawn money from a bank, escaping with $20,000.

Last year, 13 Koreans - mostly business owners - were killed in the Philippines, and there were several attempted murders. Random shootings are not common in the Philippines. The crimes usually involve robbery or are some kind of business disputes.

Last April, a Korean man surnamed Yim was fatally shot by an unidentified gunman in Angeles City. His companion was left seriously wounded.

In September, a 40-year-old Korean woman surnamed Jung, a tour agency operator in Manila, was found dead in her office. Last November, a 40-year-old Korean shop owner surnamed Hong was shot dead near Manila.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are some 100,000 Koreans residing in the Philippines.

More than 1.16 million Koreans are estimated to have visited the Philippines last year, an increase from around one million in 2012, taking into account volunteers for humanitarian support following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongnang.co.kr]

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