Gunfire at casino resort in Philippine, ISIS claims responsibility

Pauline Gross
June 2, 2017

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States was closely monitoring what he described as a "terrorist" attack in Manila, while the police chief of the Philippines said the shooting incident at a gaming resort may have been a robbery.

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

Dela Rosa said the man appeared to be robbing the casino, but he could not completely rule out terrorism as a motive.

"At the moment we only know of one suspect", he said.

CNN reported a gunman had entered the Resorts World hotel and was firing at guests and workers.

But the resort complex then said on Twitter that police operations were still "ongoing" and that they did not have "official information as to the identity or affiliation of the persons responsible for the attack".

Video captured people fleeing, the sound of gunshots and smoke coming from the upper floors of buildings.

"We can not say this is an act of terror. he did not hurt anyone", Dela Rosa told DZMM radio.

Witnesses told police that gunmen wearing masks and black shirts opened fire inside the hotel, ABS-CBN News reports.

An English message by the operative was distributed across several pro-IS Telegram chat groups, Site said.

"I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila".

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People inside the casino recounted feelings of terror when the shooting occurred. "Before we exited, we heard two gunshots and there was thick smoke on the ground floor".

"I could smell some kind of smoke that came from an explosive device", he said. The airport is about a mile away from the resort.

The resort is in Pasay City, which is in Metro Manila. All mobile patrol units and tactical motorized units of QCPD have been deployed to secure the city.

Ronald Romualdo, a maintenance worker at Resorts World, said he and his colleagues heard gunshots and saw people smashing the windows on the second floor and third floor to escape.

There are at least four hotels located in the complex including a Marriott Hotel.

Philippine policemen have not given details about the incident but have begun cordoning off the area near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Late last month, ISIS-linked militants carried out a series of attacks in the southern part of the country.

The Philippines have been troubled by terrorism lately, as government forces are battling ISIS-affiliated soldiers for control of the city of Marawi, a mostly Muslim city on the southern island of Mindanao. Duterte has suggested he might extend martial law until the end of the year or impose it nationwide, alarming critics. "We urge USA citizens in Manila to contact family members and loved ones to notify them that you are safe".

U.S. President Donald Trump is receiving updates from his national security team about developments following an attack on a tourist resort in the Philippines.

Trump says, "Our thoughts and our prayers and with all of those affected".

Not long after, officials in the Philippines announced it wasn't terrorism.

Trump today called the incident a "terrorist attack" and said that it's "really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror".

Other reports by GizPress

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