Breaking: Terror attack in Manila-area casino; Update: Robbery?
An unknown number of masked gunmen have assaulted a popular casino in Manila, and local reports suggest that it might be an attempt at a terrorist attack by ISIS. The Philippines’ military is fighting terrorists in Mindinao that have aligned themselves with the so-called caliphate, but this may be the first major action in the capital itself. There are reports of both gunshots and explosions, and some of those fleeing have been seen covered in soot:
A popular casino and hotel complex outside of the Philippine capital of Manila was placed on lockdown early Friday local time, after reports of gunfire and smoke coming from inside.
Local media outlet ABS-CBN News and social media users captured panicked people fleeing Resorts World Manila in Pasay. One man’s face was seen covered in soot.
According to one eyewitness on social media republished by ABC, there may have already been a shootout in progress:
Police report serious injuries, along with a fire started by the gunmen. In other words, it doesn’t appear to be a botched robbery attempt, but anything’s possible. Fox News also has a correspondent near the incident:
Reuters reports that it might just be two men conducting the attack:
Gun shots and explosions rang out in an entertainment resort in the Philippine capital Manila early on Friday as local media reported armed men were inside the complex. …
Witnesses who spoke to radio stations said several gunmen were seen in the complex. News channel ANC said there were two gunmen, wearing masks and black clothes.
Details, as always, are going to be sketchy and contradictory for a while on this, so take all of the above with a grain or two of salt while police get a handle on the situation. From the early reports, it doesn’t appear that the terrorists have enough resources for a lengthy, Mumbai-style massacre, but it’s bad enough already even without that. We’ll update as the story progresses.
Update: According to the Sun, ISIS has claimed responsibility — sort of:
ISIS has since claimed “lone wolf soldiers” from the terror group carried out the attack – which happened at around midnight local time.
Like all other details, be prepared to see this shift later.
Update: Trump told a Rose Garden audience that he was monitoring the situation, and offered his “thoughts and prayer to all those affected”:
At this point, we still have not seen reports of confirmed deaths in the attack, although injury reports so far have been around 25 people.
Update, 6/2: Turns out it was a robbery gone bad. We have more in a later post.