A resort and casino complex in Manila is on lockdown after reports of gunfire and explosions from the area.
Images and videos posted on social media on Thursday evening (Friday morning local time) showed emergency medical workers giving several injured people first aid.
Witnesses interviewed by local media said the attackers were wearing masks and black shirts.
SITE intelligence monitoring agency quoted an ISIL “Filipino operative” as saying the group “is responsible for the attack” in the Philippine capital.
In a brief comment from the White House, US President Donal Trump referred to the incident in Manila as a “terrorist attack.”
“We are closely monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those who are affected.”
But Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindongan cautioned that the group has a history of claiming responsibility for incidents, which later turned out to be unrelated local crimes.
While Philippine-based armed fighters like the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, their direct link to ISIL (also known as ISIS) is in dispute.
Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars rushed to the area, as loud gunfire were heard.
Video footage captured by Al Jazeera also showed thick smoke billowing from one of the buildings in the complex.
The Resorts World complex is located opposite one of the terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the main airport in the country.
There are at least four hotels located in the complex including a Marriott Hotel.
The incident in Manila comes as the entire country is on high alert following the attack by the Maute Group in the southern city of Marawi in Mindanao, which left over 100 people dead, including many civilians.
Following the Marawi attack, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao. He also warned that the order could be expanded to cover the entire country.
Source: Al Jazeera News
Resorts World attacked, Dela Rosa points to lone gunman
Some armed men allegedly wearing masks have reportedly attacked Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
Employees who scampered out of the resort and casino building said saw some armed men wearing black.
Then they heard gun shots and explosions.
Some pieces of furniture were also torched.
Staffmembers have also claimed to have seen wounded victims being brought out from the establishment.
Hotel guests were seen running out, many screaming in panic.
One narrated gun shots rang out from the second floor of the building for about half an hour.
He also heard loud explosions.
The commotion broke out 15 minutes before midnight on Thursday.
Witnesses related their experiences on radio at past 1 am Friday.
Some persons are believed to be still trapped inside Resorts World.
At least 8 ambulances have been seen going in and out of the hotel.
Smoke is billowing from the establishment.
Roads near the site of the incident have been closed to motorists.
Philippine National Police-National Capital Region (PNP-NCR) Chief Oscar Albayalde has arrived at Resorts World.
He has yet to give any statement.
Witnesses say, members of the PNP Special Weapons and Tactics (PNP-SWAT) have entered the building.
At 3:55 am, PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa told mediamen in Resorts World says the attack was staged by a lone gunman.
He was carrying a liter of gasoline and had set on fire some items inside the casino.
‘Iisang tao lang,” Dela Rosa said.
The suspect allegedly did not hurt anybody although he fired his gun several times.
He allegedly stole some chips in the casino.
Dela Rosa says, the individuals sustained minor injuries due to stampede.
Robbery is being seen as the motive.
“Me instances na me foreigners na nasiraan ng ulo dahil natalo sa gambling,” Dela Rosa said.
The gunman only fired at the stockroom of the casino where chips were stored.
The chips were allegedly worth a million pesos.
The attacker supposedly hid on at least two rooms at the fifth floor.
These rooms have been cleared.
Police are still searching for the man, allegedly ‘foreign-looking’ and about six feet tall.
Authorities saw his on CCTV cameras when he removed his mask as he went around the establishment.
Dela Rosa says, witnesses may have mistaken policemen entering Resorts World as the gunmen.
He ruled out terrorism as motive for the incident.
Operations against the suspect are still ongoing.
The resort and casino remains on lockdown.