Friday 22 September 2017

Gunshots and explosions reported at popular hotel resort in the Philippines capital Manila

A security guard stops photographers from entering the vicinity of Resorts World Manila after gunshots and explosions were heard in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
A security guard stops photographers from entering the vicinity of Resorts World Manila after gunshots and explosions were heard in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Evacuated employees and guests of hotels stand along a road and watch as smoke billows from a Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Smoke billows from the Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
The incident is reported to have taken place at the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. Photo: Google Street View
Tourists are pictured after being evacuated from a Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Policemen stand guard near evacuated employees of a hotel near a situation at a Resorts World building, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Witnesses have reported gunshots and explosions at a hotel and casino complex in the Philippines capital, Manila.

The shooting is believed to have taken place at the popular Resorts World in Pasay City, close to the airport in Manila.

An injured man is placed on a stretcher after explosions rang out (Tikos Low via AP)
An injured man is placed on a stretcher after explosions rang out (Tikos Low via AP)
A woman attends to an injured man after explosions rang out
An injured man lies on the floor
An injured man is carried on a stretcher
Tourists are pictured after being evacuated from a Resorts World building in Pasay City
A security guard stops photographers from entering the vicinity of Resorts World Manila after gunshots and explosions were heard
Emergency responders and security officials are parked outside as smoke rises from the Resorts World Manila complex
A tourist wearing a bathrobe gestures after he was evacuated from the Resorts World Manila after gunshots and explosions were heard
People walk with their luggage outside the Resorts World Manila complex

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and explosions coming from the hotel complex at midnight local time.

Police, fire engines and a SWAT team in body armour were in the area around Resorts World in Manila, according to CNN Philippines.

Resorts World Manila's Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly gave an update on the situation.

He said: "Immediately the Philippine National Police, the fire services, other emergency services were called to our aid.

Smoke billows from the Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Smoke billows from the Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

"We are still investigating the situation, the PNP are on-site and we have evacuated the building to ensure our patrons and staff are safe.

"At this time that's all the information I can give you.

The hotel is situated across from the busy terminal three of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
The hotel is situated across from the busy terminal three of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

"The building is on lockdown until the PNP have cleared the area."

A source at one of the resorts told Reuters employees were being evacuated and declined to give more details. He said police were now in full control of the situation.

Mr Reilly added that he should be able to give further information in the next couple of hours.

Resorts World said on Twitter: "We ask for your prayers during these difficult times."

Tourists are pictured after being evacuated from a Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
Tourists are pictured after being evacuated from a Resorts World building in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

The incident is unfolding amid a 10-day deadly siege by Muslim militants aligned to the Islamic State (IS) group in the southern city of Marawi.

The attack has sparked fears that the militants may attack elsewhere to divert the focus of thousands of troops trying to quell the siege.

The Site Intelligence Group, a US terrorism monitor, said an IS-linked Filipino operative who provides daily updates on the ongoing clashes in Marawi claimed that "lone wolf soldiers" of the IS group are responsible for the attack at Resorts World Manila.

An English message by the operative was distributed across several pro-IS Telegram chat groups, Site said.

According to Site, he wrote: "The lone wolf soldiers of Khilafah attack the heart of Kufar the city of Manila in Resort World."

US president Donald Trump said his "thoughts are prayers" were with those affected.

The hotel is located across from the bustling terminal three of Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Terminal three has also been put on lockdown as a result of the incident.

Delta Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines and Singapore Airlines are among the carriers that operate out of terminal three.

More to follow

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