Mustachioed 'foreigner' carried out deadly resort attack

The popular Filipino tourist site Resorts World Manila is on lockdown after reports of gunfire and explosions. A masked gunman was on the second floor of one hotel firing at guests hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines

The popular Filipino tourist site Resorts World Manila is on lockdown after reports of gunfire and explosions. A masked gunman was on the second floor of one hotel firing at guests hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Thursday's deadly attack at the Resorts World Manila in the Philippines that killed at least 35.

Police told ABC News the initial investigation indicated that all of the victims, who were found mostly on two floors, died from smoke inhalation as the resort was set on fire. 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.

The deadly attack at a casino in the Philippines was carried out by a mustachioed "foreigner" who was either trying to recoup his losses - or went "totally nuts", authorities said Friday. There are concerns that the fatal attack is linked to the Islamic State, but police are pushing back.

The gunman committed suicide inside a hotel room by immolating himself about five hours after storming the casino with an M4 assault rifle and a bottle of gasoline that he used to start the fire, Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa said. He added the authority would instruct shopping malls and hotels to be stricter with their security, and that protocols around incidents such as this would be reviewed.

Police saw no connection to almost two weeks of fighting with Muslim militants aligned with the Islamic State group in the southern city of Marawi.

The gunman, described by Mr dela Rosa as white, with a moustache, about 6ft and English speaking, fled the gambling area and barged into a room on the fifth floor of Maxims Hotel, which is part of the Resorts complex.

"He lay down on the bed, covered himself with a thick blanket, apparently poured gasoline on the blanket and burned himself", Dela Rosa said.

The bag of high-value gambling chips - with an estimated worth of 113 million to 130 million pesos, or more than $2 million - was found in a toilet.

People walk with their luggage outside the Resorts World Manila complex, early Friday, June 2, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. A South Korean victim died in the evacuation.

The man left the room and went upstairs to the hotel section, but left the backpack, Dela Rosa said, adding that 18 of 54 injured people had been hospitalized, while others sustained only minor injuries. "We urge USA citizens in Manila to contact family members and loved ones to notify them that you are safe".

"I was about to return to the second floor from my break when I saw people running".

Maricel Navarro, a manager at the resort, said her partner of seven years, Hazel Yongco, was among the dead. It was only later that the emergency services revealed that they had found about 30 bodies on the third floor of the complex, including the Taiwanese victims, reports said.

About 90 minutes after the attack began, Resorts World Manila said on its Facebook page that it was on lockdown following reports of gunfire and was working to ensure the safety of guests and workers.

"It is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror", he said from the White House Rose Garden. Internal security officers, who don't carry weapons, didn't try to engage the suspect, fearing escalation of the situation, he said.

US President Donald Trump also branded it a "terrorist attack".

Philippine authorities have said they suspect the man was trying to rob the casino and that there was no evidence it was a terrorist attack.

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