At least 34 dead at Manila casino

Posted June 08, 2017

FILIPINO police rejected Isis claims yesterday that the death cult was behind a Manila casino attack that killed 36 people.

Hours later, the police confirmed the gunman had committed suicide by setting himself on fire.

Dozens of others were injured in a stampede as they rushed to leave Resorts World Manila, which is across a road from the Philippines' main global airport, after the man fired what police said was an M4 assault rifle and started the fire around midnight.

"The company is working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe".

"He burned himself inside the hotel room 510", Philippines National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa told a media conference.

The attacker was shot and wounded by security guards, and retreated into a hotel room, where he doused a bed with gasoline and shot himself, according to Reilly.

A gunman stormed a mall-casino complex, torched gambling tables and stuffed a backpack.

He said the man then fired again at a stock room containing gambling chips and filled a backpack with chips worth 113 million pesos (USD 2.3 million).

But Dela Rosa said the gunman "would have shot at people or triggered a bomb" had he been a terrorist.

An official from Resorts World Manila, a complex of hotels, restaurants and stores, said the dead included 22 guests.

"With an incident like this, especially at Resorts World Manila, we certainly would ratchet that (security) up even more...certainly an issue we will buckle down on", Lawrence Ho, 40, who owns casinos in Manila and Macau, told in Hong Kong.

Relatives are rushing to funeral homes to see the remains of their loved ones who died in a fire set by a gunman who robbed a Manila casino.

Resorts World Manila is now on lockdown, following reports of gunfire from unidentified men, who claimed to be part of the ISIS.

"He did not bring anything and we recovered his bag and all it contained was casino chips", Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, said in a statement. Police have also said this does not look like a terrorist attack. Manila police Chief Oscar Albayalde told reporters that police think it is likely that the suspect was a foreigner.

The injuries of survivors spoke to the terror inside the casino, with many breaking windows and jumping from the second floor to escape the fire and smoke.

A security guard also suffered a gunshot wound after accidentally shooting himself, according to Dela Rosa. "But one woman I was trying to save fell from the second floor. Our prayers go to all of those affected", US President Donald Trump told a White House press briefing. Internal security officers don't carry weapons, and didn't try to engage the suspect, fearing escalation of the situation, he said.