Sunday, 26 January, 2020

Gunman in Manila hotel attack dead from self-inflicted gunshot, police report

Christy Curtis | 07 June, 2017, 05:55

Still, he warned, ISIS could falsely try to claim responsibility for propaganda purposes.

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.

A gunman stormed a crowded Manila casino early Friday and used gasoline to set gambling tables on fire, creating clouds of smoke that swept through the crowds and killed at least 36 people, police said.

Southern Police District Director Tomas Apolinario said the 35 dead bodies were found in the second floor of the establishment, spread across the casino area, the hallways, and the bathroom.

Islamic State, on the other hand, released a statement claiming that its "fighters carried out" the attack. But police later said he appeared to be Filipino. "They have this reputation of claiming all atrocities all over the world to perpetuate themselves to gain global notoriety". The police are said to be investigating the incident and the hotel has been locked down in the meanwhile.

The ministry said that it has also directed the representative office in Manila to set up an ad hoc task force to follow the latest developments and determine whether there are any more Taiwanese casualties.

Gunshots and explosions rang out early Friday at a mall, casino and hotel complex near Manila's worldwide airport in the Philippine capital, sparking a security alarm amid an ongoing Muslim militant siege in the country's south.

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Paul Hinlo, a security and risk consultant, said more should have been done to prevent the gunman entering the building and to manage the crowd. Police later searched a auto and found registration information which they didn't make public.

A group affiliated with the Islamic State had earlier said "lone wolf soldiers" were behind the attack, but Philippine authorities said the only person shot was a guard who wounded himself by accident, the Associated Press reported.

Reilly said only guards on the complex's perimeter are armed. We are closely monitoring the situation.

The footage showed guests frantically running for the exits, the sound of gunshots and smoke coming from the upper floors of buildings.

He had stuffed chips totalling 113 million pesos ($2 million) in a backpack, but it was later recovered by police. The suspect fled the scene of the attack after robbing the casino, setting tables on fire as he went, dela Rosa added.

Witnesses also spoke of hearing what sounded like explosions.

There was no evidence linking the attack at the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex to fighting between government troops and militants in the country's south, said Mr Ernesto Abella. Police haven't identified the bodies of six people, including two employees and four guests.

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