Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Smoke from fire kills 36 in Philippine casino attack

An attack victim is treated inside an ambulance as relatives and friends of victims wait outside to receive news of their loved ones at a hotel at the Resorts World Manila complex Friday Smoke from fire kills 36 in Philippine casino attack
Orlando Vargas | 04 June, 2017, 09:12

The attack took place shortly after midnight (16:00 GMT) at the Resorts World Manila complex, police said on Friday, adding that all the victims died from suffocation and smoke inhalation.

Filipino police say the mayhem began around 1:30 a.m. local time when the gunman stormed the massive casino-hotel complex. None of the bodies had gunshots, authorities said.

The attack comes as the Philippines grapples with ISIS linked militants in the city of Marawi.

The gunman stole gambling chips, shot an LED monitor and set gambling tables ablaze by pouring gasoline on them, Dela Rosa said. He lay down on the bed, covered himself with a blanket, doused himself with gasoline and then set himself on fire, dela Rosa said.

Albayalde said the culprit carried a long firearm similar to a "baby ArmaLite" - a term often used in the Philippines to refer to a variant of the M16 carbine.

He had stuffed chips totalling 113 million pesos ($2 million) in a backpack, but it was later recovered by police.

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, according to Dela Rosa.

An additional 70 people or more suffered mostly minor injuries in the stampede to escape.

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A family grieves as they wait for their daughter's body at the Resorts World Manila complex, Friday, June 2, 2017, in Manila, Philippines.

"We have cleared the rooms (on the floor of the hotel the gunman was last seen) but we don't see where he is", dela Rosa said. Most of the dead suffocated while trying to flee the smoke and fire after the attack began. "We urge USA citizens in Manila to contact family members and loved ones to notify them that you are safe". "I could not carry her".

More than 20 were casino guests, and 13 were employees of the property, according to a report from CNN. Internal security officers, who don't carry weapons, didn't try to engage the suspect, fearing escalation of the situation, he said.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack Friday at a casino in the Philippine capital that left 37 people dead; however, police continue to deny what happened was terror-related.

"The Philippines' presidential palace spokesperson Ernesto Abella has urged the country's citizens to unite and be careful about spreading fake news about the attack, Philippine newspaper Daily Inquirer reports".

Dela Rosa, Police chief said there had been no specific, credible terror threat in Manila so far.

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.

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

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