Officials Say Resorts World Manila Attack a Botched Robbery

(Photo by AP Photo/Aaron Favila) Photo by AP Photo/Aaron Favila

At least 35 people were killed in a shooting at Resorts World Manila in what officials are calling a botched robbery.

According to Resorts World Manila’s official Twitter account, there were at least 35 casualties in the incident, including 13 employees and 22 guests.

“We are doing our very best to inform the families of the victims,” the resort said in its latest statement. “We are extending all forms of assistance to the affected next of kin.”

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Ernesto Abella, a spokesperson of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, told NBC News that there was no evidence linking the gunman attack to fighting between the government of the Philippines and ISIS in the southern area of the country.

“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual,” Abella told NBC News, noting that, while the gunman fired warning shots, there was no indication he wanted to shoot anyone. Most of the dead suffocated while trying to flee the smoke and fire after the attack began.

According to The Washington Post, the gunman set fire to gambling tables and stuffed a bag with casino chips. He was later found dead in a hotel room.

CNN reports that all terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which is about a mile away from the resort, were placed on lockdown because of the attack. Operations later returned to normal, but the facility remains on “high alert.”

Resorts World Manila is a resort complex in Newport City, a residential and commercial center in Manila. It is home to a number of hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as an onsite shopping mall, cinema and theater.

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