Manila casino attack: Islamic State claims responsibility of the botched robbery attempt

Oscar Albayalde, Manila's chief of police, said: "It's either he lost in the casino and wanted to recoup his losses or he went totally nuts".

"Islamic State fighters carried out the Manila attack in the Philippines", the news agency said.

In a statement, Resorts World Manila, which bills itself as the country's largest casino, said the company "mourns with the families" and will offer support and assistance to the injured and families of the victims.

It is unclear how many people were wounded or killed.

ISIS have claimed responsibility for the gunfire at the popular tourist destination.

Philippine authorities have ruled out terrorism as the motive for the attack, the reports said.

In both Manila and Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, government forces with decades of experience fighting guerrillas in the countryside appeared ill-prepared to respond to incidents in built up areas. The clashes began after state enforcers tried to capture Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

But police told reporters that the man acted alone and didn't shoot anyone he encountered, pointing his gun upward when he fired some shots.

The man ransacked a room and stole gaming chips, Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said.

None had gunshot wounds, she said.

The gunman initially disappeared into the chaos of smoke and running people, leading to a manhunt throughout the complex that ended just after dawn when he was found dead in a hotel room, according to Dela Rosa. It was not clear how he smuggled the gasoline and rifle into the crowded casino.

According to The Washington Post, the gunman set fire to gambling tables and stuffed a bag with casino chips. "Some hotel guests said someone yelled "ISIS"," Maricel Navaro, an employee of Resorts World, told DZMM radio.

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The lone gunman also died when he set himself on fire inside a hotel room, then shot himself in the head.

Authorities said those who died had quickly become disorientated and unable to find exits.

Police were examining his auto, which he left in a complex parking garage, authorities said.

This story has been corrected to show the currency conversion on the value of the stolen chips to be more than $2 million, not $200,000.

The attacker has reportedly been described as a tall, English-speaking man with a pale complexion. More than 35 people died from smoke inhalation. "Some of them jumped from the second floor just to escape".

"We took out a ladder to save them".

US President Donald Trump was quick to react to the RW shooting incident. "But one woman I was trying to save fell from the second floor". "I am very anxious as a parent, I need to find her", he said.

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

A lone gunman, thought to be of Caucasian origin, fired a rifle and set fire to tables at the Resorts World Manila's casino early Friday morning, reports said.

"This is a sad day for Resorts World Manila", it said.

"We're closely monitoring the situation", Trump said.

  • Sonia Alvarado