Dozens dead, including gunman, following attack on Manila casino

World Today

At least 38 people died in an attack on one of the biggest casino hotels in the Philippine capital Manila early Friday morning. Police said a lone gunman was responsible, and that there was no indication of terrorism.

CGTN’s Barneby Lo reports.

All this on a week that has seen the Philippine military battle ISIL-aligned militants in the country’s south. But within just a few hours, police had drawn a conclusion.

“We can say that this is not an act of terror,” Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said.

A lone gunman – described by the police chief as foreign-looking – had apparently entered the entertainment complex through the parking area armed and aiming for one of the casino’s vaults.

“We recovered his bag and all it contained was chips of the casino. He fired several shots while inside but none of them aimed at people, initial investigation showed. But he torched gaming tables, setting a fire that would kill most of the victims,” National Capital Region Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said.

“What caused their deaths is the thick smoke. The room was carpeted and the tables, highly combustible, “ Albayalde added.

Fire also killed the gunman, but it was self-inflicted. This after hotel management said their security personnel shot and wounded him.

The investigation into what happened early morning on Friday in the building behind me is ongoing. How the gunman was able to get through security, whether sprinklers worked, for instance, are just some of the questions that need answers.