Manila casino rampage leaves 34 people dead


At least 34 people are dead after a gunman burst into a Manila casino, firing shots and setting gaming tables alight, in what officials said was a botched robbery attempt. He retreated to a hotel room where he poured gasoline on a bed and shot himself.

Philippine National Police chief General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa downplayed news reports that the Islamic State terror group was behind the attack, saying the early evidence doesn't yet point in that direction.

While there were a claim that the attack was done by "lone wolf soldiers" of the Islamic State, Secretary Ernesto Abella, Philippine presidential spokesperson, said the initial findings "show that there are no indications of terrorist activity".

Dela Rosa and other police chiefs insisted the assailant was not carrying out a terrorist attack, pointing out that he did not shoot anyone, and said it appeared to be a freakish robbery attempt by a "deranged" man.

Oscar Albayalde, chief of the capital's police office, said those that died were in the casino's main gaming area. "They have this reputation of claiming all atrocities all over the world to perpetuate themselves to gain global notoriety".

"This is not an act of terror". De la Rosa says the gunman seized millions of pesos worth of gambling chips and that no one was hurt by gunfire.

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

According to security footage viewed by police, the gunman entered via the parking lot. According to the report, the gunman's vehicle was later searched by police at which time registration information was found, which they have yet to make public.

The attacker was found dead around 7 a.m. local time, according to a statement from the resort. "I could not carry her". The armed suspect forced his way into the casino around midnight, said witnesses and police. The gunman, who has been killed, reportedly set several casino tables on fire and tried to steal chips.

Two of the Taiwanese casualties were employees of the casino, a man and a woman both surnamed Lai, while the two others, a couple surnamed Hung, were tourists, reports said.

A Filipino policeman takes position outside the Resort World Manila hotel in Pasay City, Philippines, June 2, 2017.