Philippine police chief says 1 gunman at large

He added that the man shot at the big TV screens at the casino and also set some gaming tables on fire.

The suspect was found dead after setting his hotel room on fire, police said.

But the resort complex then said on Twitter that police operations were still "ongoing" and that they did not have "official information as to the identity or affiliation of the persons responsible for the attack".

US President Donald Trump said he was closely monitoring what he described as a "terrorist" attack. "But he did not hurt anyone". One of those related to a robbery attempt at a Phillippines casino earlier in the day that briefly brought up concerns of terrorism.

"It's either he lost in the casino and wanted to recoup his losses or he went totally nuts", Albayalde said.

The attack sent hundreds of people fleeing into the night.

"Resorts World Manila is now on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men", the operators of the hotel complex posted on Twitter when the gunman was still at large.

Several of the deceased died due to smoke inhalation and suffocation even as guests and the staff tried to escape from the premises of the resort, Reuters reported citing ANC News channel, which quoted sources from the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The man left the room and went upstairs to the hotel section, but left the backpack near the stock room, according to Dela Rosa.

Gunshots were fired, he said, but were not aimed at people in the room.

The Philippine national police chief says there is no concrete evidence that the attack on a hotel and casino complex near Manila's airport is terrorism.

The police reportedly recovered the suspect's bag filled with casino chips worth at least at least 113 million Pesos ($2.2 million).

The suspect was English-speaking but had no identification cards.

Manila police said a gunman who opened fire in a luxury resort is not believed to be part of a terror attack.

The SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism monitor, said a Filipino operative linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria who provides daily updates on an ongoing Muslim militant siege in the country's south claimed that "lone wolf soldiers" of ISIS are responsible for the attack.

But he warned that Islamist militants might falsely claim to be behind it to further their propaganda.

"It is really very sad as to what's going on throughout the world with terror".

All terminals at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, located about a mile from the resort, were placed on lockdown due to the attack.

Gunfire that rattled guests and sparked a stampede at a sprawling Manila resort came from a lone thief trying to rob gamblers, not a terrorist attack, police said.

The gunman disappeared into the chaos of smoke and running people, leading to a manhunt throughout the casino, hotel and shopping complex that ended just after dawn.

President Rodrigo Duterte this month declared martial law in the bottom third of the country as army forces battled against an uprising by a group affiliated with the so-called "Islamic State". He has also threatened to impose military rule nationwide. "There is no element of violence, threat or intimidation that leads to terrorism". Other footage, none of which could be immediately verified, showed apparently injured people being taken away by emergency services.

ISIS is another acronym for the Islamic State group. "They do it by killing people, invoking the name of God and that is a very bad ideology", he said about ISIS, the Daily Star reported.

  • Leroy Wright