Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a casino in the Philippine capital Manila that killed at least 36 people on Friday, the group's Amaq news agency said, after officials said there was no evidence of militant involvement.
A gunman burst into the Resorts World Manila entertainment complex on Friday, firing shots, setting gaming tables alight and killing at least 36 people, all suffocating in thick smoke, in what officials have believed was a botched robbery.
"Islamic State fighters carried out the Manila attack in the Philippines," the news agency said.
The gunman killed himself in his hotel room after being shot and wounded by resort security, police and Resorts World management said. Most of the dead suffocated in the chaos. Fire bureau spokesman Ian Manalo said many guests and staff had tried to hide from the gunfire rather than get out of the building when the attack began.
Oscar Albayalde, chief of the capital's police office, said those who died were in the casino's main gaming area. "What caused their deaths is the thick smoke," he told reporters. "The room was carpeted and of course the tables, highly combustible."
Videos posted on social media showed people fleeing as several loud bangs went off.
"Even the security personnel panicked," casino guest Jeff Santos told a radio station. "Definitely us patrons we did not expect that, everyone ran away."
Jeri Ann Santiago, who works in the emergency room at the San Juan de Dios hospital, said patients were suffering from smoke inhalation and some had fractures. None had gunshot wounds, she said.
Published Date: Jun 02, 2017 18:20 PM | Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 18:20 PM