ISIS claims Philippines casino attack despite police denial


Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde says 36 people suffocated from smoke after a gunman stormed into a casino-hotel complex and set fire to gambling tables before fleeing with a bag of casino chips.

The Islamic State group said one of its operatives "carried out killing and hurting until he died a martyr", but Philippine authorities have said they suspect the man was trying to rob the casino and there was no evidence it was a terrorist attack.

The gunman stole gambling chips, shot TV screens and set gambling tables ablaze by pouring gasoline on them, dela Rosa said.

A gunman has killed 36 people, including himself at the Resorts World Manila casino in the Philippines.

Ho declined to say how he would increase security but said his casinos already make use of surveillance and counter intelligence measures, metal detectors and security guards.

The attack comes as the Philippines grapples with ISIS linked militants in the city of Marawi.

President Donald Trump - speaking in Washington, where he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord - immediately called the incident a "terrorist attack" and said the United States was closely monitoring reports.

The governments have urged their citizens to avoid the area surrounding Resorts World Manila and to follow the advice of Philippine authorities.

ISIS claims Philippines casino attack despite police denial
ISIS claims Philippines casino attack despite police denial

Resorts World Manila is an integrated resort located in Newport City opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City.

Resorts World Manila had been placed on lockdown early Friday morning following reports of gunfire.

Initially, the Manila office sent a person to local hospitals to look for injured Taiwanese, but at the time, there were no official casualty figures. The gunman reportedly dropped the backpack while being chased out of the casino by police and security guards.

The man left the room and went upstairs to the hotel section, but left the backpack, Dela Rosa said, adding that 18 of 54 injured people had been hospitalized, while others sustained only minor injuries.

While authorities argue that there are no indications that the attack was an act of terrorism, ISIS claimed responsibility Friday for the assault on the resort on its Amaq News Agency, according to the Site Intel Group.

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters that police searching for the gunman found him dead of apparent suicide in a hotel room in the complex.

Hundreds of guests and employees rushed out of the resort hotel after the gunman began shooting on the second floor, hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines.

"But it is really very sad as to what is going on throughout the world with terror".

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