Islamic State claims responsibility for Resorts World Manila attack that killed 36

Islamic State claims responsibility for Resorts World Manila attack that killed 36

The large resort complex is popular with tourists and features hotels, restaurants, bars, a shopping mall and a theatre, as well as the casino. The gunman fled with more than $2 million in stolen casino chips, then forced his way into a room in an adjoining hotel and killed himself.

Earlier in the day, the SITE Intelligence Group had reported that a "Filipino ISIS operative" said the militant group's "lone wolf soldiers" were responsible for the attack - though that report appears to have been contradicted by Philippine authorities.

The attacker was shot and wounded by security guards, and retreated into the hotel room where he doused a bed he was lying on in gasoline and shot himself, according to Stephen Reilly, the resort's Chief Operating Officer.

Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa, national police chief in the Philippines, said there was no concrete evidence that the attack was terrorism.

The ministry said it has notified the families of the deceased and will help them travel to the Philippines to repatriate the bodies of their loved ones.

But Philippine officials dismissed any direct connections between the Islamic State and Muslim insurgents in the southern part of the country. Dela Rosa described him as "white, with a mustache" and about 6 feet tall. But Dela Rosa says the assailant did not fire at people he met.

The man fired shots, set fire to gambling tables and allegedly stole casino chips.

The gunman initially disappeared into the chaos of smoke and running people, leading to a five-hour manhunt through the complex, which also includes a hotel and shops, Dela Rosa said.

"So the assumption, he speaks English, he is probably a foreigner", Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, police chief in metropolitan Manila, said at a news briefing.

Arson investigators said most of those who died failed to get out of the casino in time because they chose to hide instead of run away.

Around 10 a.m.: The Bureau of Fire Protection says 36 people were found dead on the casino's second floor, likely because of suffocation.

"We took out a ladder to save them. I could not carry her".

Trump was briefed by national security adviser H.R. McMaster on the Philippines incident before he went into the Rose Garden, a White House official said.

The attack on a hotel and casino in Manila, Philippines that left at least 36 people dead was not a terrorist attack, according to local police.

As news of the attack spread, President Donald Trump offered America's thoughts and prayers to the Philippines.

That unrest had sparked fears that the militants might attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege.

"I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila", he said at the start of Rose Garden briefing to announced the US pull-out from the Paris climate agreement.

The attacker also apparently killed himself during the incident at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, a southwestern suburb of the capital.

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